JACQUES TERZIAN was born in 1921 in Fresno, California where he was raised, along with his brothers and sisters, the son of Armenian immigrants who'd fled Armenia during massacres by the Ottoman Turks.


As a very young man, Jacques learned to weld at the Navy yard in Richmond CA, and transferred to the Hunters Point Shipyard to help repair destroyers, cruisers and submarines that had been damaged at Pearl Harbor. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air force and was trained and served as a bombardier navigator. After the war, the G.I. Bill gave him the opportunity to attend college, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and pursuing graduate studies at Parsons School of Design in New York City. In 1951 he returned to the Bay Area to work as an interior designer on both residential and commercial projects.


Beginning in 1974, Jacques established "Patterns Ltd." which designed, fabricated and installed a broad range of 'found object' industrial detritus-based art, from custom furniture to large-scale sculpture. He now has installations throughout the United States including numerous commercial sites and private collections in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles.

His life has revolved around art and opera. Since 1991 he has explored multiple art media, focusing on welded found-metal sculpture and wood tool and dye pattern-based wall sculpture. He has exhibited annually as a participant in the San Francisco Open Studios.

Regarding Jacques

In every person's life there are defining people. For most, the first are parents. After parents, we choose our defining people. I chose Jacques; Jacques chose me. Jacques has had a most profound influence on my life. To say I love Jacques is an understatement. I am Jacques. All of what I am artistically stems from what he has taught and given me. There are no words to express how appreciative I am of Jacques' caring and mentoring. My art is predominately based in welded steel. I learned welding from Jacques, but far more, I learned art from Jacques.

In building The Point, Jacques founded what has become the nation's largest artist colony. He created an incredible "incubator" for developing artists by offering below market studio rents. But beyond low cost studio space, Jacques extended true heartfelt encouragement to all artists at The Point. Without Jacques' efforts, hundreds of artists (well known, emerging, and simply hopeful) would be missing from the Bay Area art scene.

I cannot shout loudly enough about Jacques' accomplishments. He is an amazing artist himself...even Louise Nevelson could well take lessons. Still, Jacques is selfless in his support of other artists. In years to come, I'm sure the name Jacques Terzian will be properly credited as a sustaining art force in the Bay Area and far beyond.

Marilyn Kuksht
Sculptor and friend