Plan to visit the Heritage Culture Center on Wednesday, Dec. 1 to view the art of Colorado Springs artist Mary Therese Pulliam (Therese), or “Sweet T” as she’s known to her friends and aficionados of the Song Spinners, the official Colorado Springs show choir. “Sweet T” is Pulliam’s stage name. According to her husband, Ken, Therese “volunteers hundreds of hours each year entertaining senior audiences and performing at civic events” with the Song Spinners.
Pulliam found her way to Meeker thanks to the recent Debby Campbell concert. “I feel blessed to have found my way to Meeker,” Pulliam said via email. “We have made many friends here.”
A Los Angeles native, Pulliam’s father, John Joseph Wetzel, was a native California who owned and operated a successful machine shop. Her mother, Dorothy Bostwick Wetzel, was a homemaker and aspiring artist who began a formal study of painting after her children were grown.
Like her mother, Pulliam’s study of art didn’t begin until adulthood.
“I was exposed to art in primary and secondary school, but did not seriously study the subject until after I was married, had two children and was living in Colorado Springs. My husband was an Air Force officer assigned to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.”
Later on, as a single mother, Pulliam began to study art at Pike’s Peak Community College as an elective while pursuing a business degree. “Perpetually chasing the means to support my kids as a single parent, and part-time student, I opened and operated an Indian restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs until 2002, when I graduated with a BS degree in business from The University of Colorado.”
When her daughter suggested she use her late mother’s oil paints to create a painting for her living room, Pulliam took on the task. “That went well! I still use some of my mother’s paints,” she said via email.
After retiring from marketing in 2013, Pulliam began her work as a serious artist, experimenting with different techniques and media. She prefers oil-on-canvas, with nature and wildlife as her preferred subject matter.
“She dearly loves all animals,” said Ken. “This feeling is reflected in her art through her sensitive and often ‘sweet’ portrayals of animals in the wild.”
Pulliam has four grandchildren and two dachshunds.
Her art is on exhibit at the Heritage Culture Center in Meeker at 565 Park, and the Rio Blanco County Historical Society is hosting an open house on Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 2-6 p.m. with light refreshments provided.
By NIKI TURNER – firstname.lastname@example.org