Terrance Vann is an Artist and Entrepreneur, as well as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE! Read his story below:
“I’ve been in Wilmington just about my entire life. Outside of going to Rehoboth to stay with family for the longest time Wilmington was all I knew. Not until I went to college in New York City did I really get an experience of what it was like to live outside of Wilmington.
Going to School at Cab Calloway School for the arts I used to be in the Jazz Band and I also was a part of the Wilmington Youth Jazz band so the Clifford Brown Jazzfest was awesome because I got to see and even meet some of my heroes in music. Some of the best live performances I’ve seen have been at that festival!
I am also an avid basketball player and fan, I am a professionally trained musician on multiple instruments, most notably the Trombone, and I know how to ride a horse!
Though I split my time between Wilmington and Ithaca, New York I still take on projects in my hometown because I feel as though it is important to continue to innovate and be a part of developing the culture. I have been blessed to be a part of some great projects that have been able to push the envelope and help put Wilmington on the map.
I have been able to learn so much, especially about being an entrepreneur. I believe there is no better place to start a business than in Wilmington because you can really develop an idea from scratch and see it grow without being stifled.
In 2018 I got to curate and host an Art Gala at the Delaware College of Art Design in which I had the chance to feature over 30 artists from Wilmington and Philadelphia. The goal was to be able to give local artists a bigger platform and exposure. The event had over 500 attendees and brought all different walks of life in Wilmington together to celebrate the arts. Working with the Delaware Art Museum was also a proud moment because I felt like it was a dream come true.
My ideal Wilmington itinerary would have to be waking up and going to Brew Haha to get coffee and a pastry. A little later on I’m gonna go to Drop Squad Kitchen to get a nice healthy lunch. Then I’ll get dinner and drinks at Bardea (Had an octopus dish a while back that was outrageously good). Then hitting Tolley for a bar hopping turn up.
While completing my “Divine Mind” Mural in west center city I had a young kid come up to me and asked me if I was the one who painted the piece. I told him yes I was the one who was creating it and he asked “was it my job?”, to which I said yes I am an artist. He then looked me up and down and said “ Well I want to be an artist when I grow up!!” and then peddled off on his bike. It was a small moment but meant a lot to me because I realized that being a young black artist can have a big impact on my community.
I’m a little biased but I’d like to see Wilmington continue to innovate in the arts sector with more murals and festivals that feel contemporary and fresh. I think the more creative landmarks and homegrown events there are the more the city can thrive in other aspects. Would love to see an Ethiopian food joint as well and just more diverse dining in general.
I am super excited to be a part of the Delaware Discoveries Art Trail which I think is great to have places to take pictures with while you’re in the city! I also absolutely love all the awesome things happening at the Wilmington Public Library. Good to see folks excited about reading!
Overall, some advice I’d like to give is: Stay curious and do things outside of your comfort zone every now and then. Wilmington has a lot of hidden gems but sometimes you have to do some exploring to find them. Also to be kind, Wilmington is a small place so we gotta all get along!”