Theresa Markiw was born in Montreal, Canada, of Ukrainian émigrés and grew up in New Jersey. She began studying art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the age of seven, followed by a decade at the Barn Studio of Art in Millville, New Jersey, with renowned marsh painter and mentor Pat Witt. While at "the Barn" Markiw studied with many visiting artists, including Morris Blackburn, Oliver Grimley, Frederick Gill, Chinese brush painter Phoebe Shi, and Russian iconographer Piedman Shofronoff. As a teenager, her drawings and paintings were shown annually at the Ukrainian Youth Art Exhibitions in New York City.
Markiw received a BFA in Visual Arts from Concordia University in Montreal in 1979. She worked for ten years in advertising and graphic design before moving to Washington, DC, where she worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, Voice of America, US Information Agency, and US Department of State. From 2000 to 2005 she served abroad as Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassies in Mongolia and Azerbaijan, with arts and culture as part of her portfolio. In Mongolia she helped establish the Arts Council of Mongolia, and served as a founding board member. In 2006 Markiw left the diplomatic service to join her university professor husband in northeast Tennessee and devote herself full-time to painting.
Throughout her career, Markiw has pursued a parallel life as a professional artist, exhibiting in myriad solo and group shows. In the 1980s she was active in the South Jersey Artists and Craftsmen’s Guild, and in the 1990s in the Capitol Hill Arts League in Washington, DC. In 1993 she was selected to participate in the 2nd Annual International Artists Symposium in Ukraine, traveling and painting throughout the country for two months with an international group of artists.
Markiw has exhibited throughout the US, in Canada, and abroad and her work is in collections in the US, Canada, England, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.
For a comprehensive list of solo and group shows see RESUME.