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Story by Robbie Goodrich '82
Photos by Lizeth Garcia

Teresa Jill Adams' love of art and art education led the SFA alumna to establish the Teresa Jill Adams Foundation, which primarily supports art education and various charitable organizations. Her generosity and desire to give back to her alma mater caused the former SFA board of regents member to name the new art gallery in the remodeled and expanded Griffith Fine Arts Building the Teresa Jill Adams Art Gallery, which was dedicated during the building's grand reopening last fall.

Adams received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SFA in 1979 and went on to achieve a Master in Elementary Education at Sam Houston State University in 1986. She taught art and reading for more than 30 years across the north Houston area. A contribution to SHSU resulted in the establishment of the Teresa Jill Adams Plaza outside the SHSU Art Complex on that campus.

"I have been blessed by the good Lord above my whole life, for I am a living miracle," Adams said, referencing serious health issues as a child. "I have followed the advice of my parents who gave me the resources I have today. I want to do more, and what better way than to leave my legacy for my only son and others to see so they may be inspired to do the same."

Adams also established a scholarship at SFA and has plans for more to honor "two of the greatest teachers who passed away before their time."

"Like a parent who wants things better for their children, I feel the same about SFA, and I want things better for today's students than I had," she said.

She hopes the Adams Art Gallery provides SFA art students a "formal, professional area to display their artwork" and an avenue to see viewers' reactions to their art. She also hopes the gallery provides public schools with a place where young artists can become inspired to create their own art dreams to display.

Adams is an advocate of art education "throughout one's life, whether it's creating it, participating in it or viewing it."

"Art done today is a historical marker for those who come afterward."