Woman with long hair in left of frame painting.

Teresa Dunn

Associate Professor

315 Kresge Art Center
East Lansing, MI 48824




Teresa Dunn received her MFA from Indiana University Bloomington in 2002 and BFA from Missouri State University in 1999. She has the rare distinction of being a three-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellowship and received the Jacob K Javits Fellowship from the US Department of Education. Dunn is represented by First Street Gallery in NYC and Galerie l’Échaudé in Paris, France. Upcoming exhibitions include at the University of Alabama Huntsville, Auburn University, and the Pendleton Center for the Arts in Oregon. Recent solo shows include Cover the Waterfront at the Zillman Art Museum in Bangor, Maine which was reviewed in Art New England and a woman | an island | the moon at First Street Gallery in New York. Dunn has shown nationally in group and solo exhibitions and internationally in Italy and France in group and solo shows. Dunn’s 2012 one-person exhibition Strange realities/Étrange réalité at Galerie l’Échaudé in Paris was reviewed in French journals AZART and Miroir de l’Art. Dunn won Best in Show at the 2008 Biennial of Contemporary Realism at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Other notable exhibitions include inclusion the inaugural Miami University Young Painters Competition. She has been included in numerous publications including Pikchur Magazine, Studio Visits and Paint Pulse Magazine. Dunn attended the Vermont Studio Center and Cuttyhunk Island Artist Residencies. She has conducted many artist lectures including at the Rome Art Program in Rome, Italy. Dunn’s work is included in various collections including the Zillman Art Museum, Kinsey Institute, Venice Baroque Orchestra, and Wright State University Art Galleries. Teresa Dunn is an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Michigan State University in East Lansing where she has taught since 2006.


Teresa Dunn’s recent paintings explore tension and refuge through visually poetic responses to constructed realities. At times they are tondos, like an island or portal; some are square or rectangular like a window, screen, or mirror. They function as an empathetic reaction to isolation, traumatic memory, and marginalization; while color, pattern, and imaginative storytelling imbue the paintings with possibility and optimism. The narratives are fictive futures, imagined alternate realities, speculative nonfiction, or distorted perversions of past events. What could be mistaken as nostalgia is subverted by psychological tension built on questions of race, gender, and identity and the contradictory themes growing in the paintings: isolation and belonging, boundaries and openness, relationships and identity, hope and hopelessness, home and homeland. These paintings are not didactic nor do they propose solutions for the challenges they consider. Instead, this body of work heightens awareness of the liminal spaces that people of color and multicultural communities occupy as they reconcile the American Reality with the American Dream.

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