Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

A local artist devoted to promoting others

Louise Kates Ternay, 63, of Bala Cynwyd, an advocate and promoter of contemporary art in Philadelphia, died of colon cancer Dec. 6 at home.

Louise Kates Ternay, 63, of Bala Cynwyd, an advocate and promoter of contemporary art in Philadelphia, died of colon cancer Dec. 6 at home.

Since 1994, Mrs. Ternay represented artists through her company, LKT/Creative Licensing Inc. Every June for the last 13 years, she represented more than 700 artists at her booth at the Licensing International Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Mrs. Ternay served on the board of Nexus/Foundation for Today's Art, which provides gallery space for emerging and experimental artists. "Louise brought an intensely personal, persuasive, and eloquent voice to the board," said Suzanne Reese Horvitz, founder and former director of Nexus/Foundation. "The artists and other board members loved her and respected her both for her convictions and her ability to get things accomplished."

Mrs. Ternay was a talented artist and took workshops in weaving, paper-making, ceramics and print-making while vacationing at her log cabin in Maine. She helped her husband, Bill, an artist and illustrator, build the cabin, and two years ago she crafted a cedar bed for the cabin. She apprenticed as a stonemason in 1976 for three months in the Arizona desert, where a scorpion bit her while she helped build a fireplace high in a ravine, her husband said.

Mrs. Ternay graduated from Haverford High School. She and her husband met when she was a secretary and he was a student at the Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts. They married in 1965. She was a stay-at-home mother until 1975, when she became a sales representative for her husband and several artists, illustrators and photographers.

In 1986, Mrs. Ternay became director of artist relations at the Franklin Mint. For the next eight years, she traveled in the United States and Europe, attending art shows and seeking artists for mint projects. She once traveled to a Hopi reservation in Arizona, her husband said, and found a kachina dollmaker willing to carve a doll for the mint. Kachinas are stylized religious icons carved from cottonwood root and painted to represent figures from Hopi mythology. She was vice president for artist relations when she left to form her company.

She never stopped working during two years of cancer treatments, her husband said, and few of her clients knew she was ill. "She was a powerhouse," he said.

Mrs. Ternay enjoyed playing bridge and gardening, and was a member of the beautification committee of the Neighborhood Club of Bala Cynwyd.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Ternay is survived by sons Will, Pierce and Mason; three sisters; and a granddaughter.

A graveside service at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd was private.

Memorial donations may be made to Jefferson Hospice, 100 Matsonford Rd., Radnor, Pa. 19087-4597.