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April 2023--Focus on artist Terry Flanigan

Dawn Price | Published on 4/1/2023

New SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild member Terry Flanigan has a previous history with Tucson. One of four brothers born to a fashion model mother and Chicago Businessman father, the family moved to Tucson in the 50’s for his mother’s health.  Though later settling in San Diego, the boys were exposed to the many benefits of the region.  His father bought the Major Motel (since demolished) on the Miracle Mile.  Terry and his twin brother Tim sang in the Tucson Boys’ Choir and the brothers took riding lessons from Pete Martinez, a celebrated American cowboy artist, jockey, rodeo cowboy and local rancher. Martinez’s art has hung in the Tap Room of the Congress Hotel downtown for decades.  He was Terry’s first art teacher.


Flanigan is a graduate of San Diego State University where he served as student body president during the campus political tumult of the late 1960’s. He received his law degree from the University of California, Davis, where he dabbled in legal art and caricatures of his professors.  He has worked as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and general practitioner.  Appointed by two California Governors as their Appointments Secretary where, among his other responsibilities, was the interviewing and recommendation for appointment of all judicial candidates in the State.  He was the chief lobbyist for the California Manufacturers Association and the California State Bar before joining his three brothers as the Flanigan Law Firm, specializing in the representation of many state and national corporations before the California legislature in Sacramento. 


Yet, in spite of all the legal/political atmosphere and noise, Terry never abandoned his sense of being an artist.  His work has appeared on the covers of various legal publications over the years, while his “Legal Lithograph” series can be found on law firm walls throughout California.  He developed an interest in Japanese art after being asked to provide the artwork for several Japanese restaurants, which he refers to as “personal art galleries cleverly disguised as Sushi bars”. These pieces take on the nature, often in a humorous way, of the 17th century Ukiyo-e (translation: art of the floating world) woodblock prints of courtesans and stars of the Kabuki. From this, he developed his own hard edge style where solid colors often appear with common boundaries. A more modern adaptation of this style, and further influence, is reflected in the work of Patrick Nagel (think of the famous 1983 Duran Duran album cover), and like Nagel (as well as Charles Dana Gibson, Alberto Vargas and John LA Gatta) he often showcases the power, strength and beauty of the modern-day women who model for him.  One of his favorite models…his daughter Molly.


Reflecting on his retirement and recent move to SaddleBrooke, Terry characterizes himself as a “recovering attorney and born-again Tucson artist”.  You will find his portfolio intriguing, eclectic, thought provoking and evolving.