La Historia de mi Vida (Del Cielo Cayó una Rosa)


Teresa Dunn

Oil on panel

96.5 x 71.1 cm


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Artwork description

Teresa Dunn is a Mexican American artist who has always been suspended between two cultural heritages. She uses her art to give voice to the complex stories of people of colour, multicultural individuals, and immigrants as they reconcile with the harsh contrast between the American Dream and the American Reality. Dunn masters her storytelling by effective use of space, colour, and light. This expressiveness gives her paintings a sense of real-life and sincerity. La Historia de mi Vida (The Story of My Life) brings us back to the roots by letting the Mexican flora and fauna interact with a local woman braiding her hair. Since her actions are delicate and unthreatening, they attract curious colourful birds and butterflies. Accompanied by floating roses, the wildlife forms a vibrant, lively halo. This pure interaction is softly lit from the side emphasising how two separate worlds become one.

Teresa Dunn


Teresa Dunn received her MFA from Indiana University Bloomington in 2002. She is 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 member of First Street Gallery (New York) and Galerie l’Échaudé (Paris). Recent solos shows include Longing to Be at the University of Alabama Huntsville (2021) and the Pendleton Center for the Arts (Oregon 2021); and Cover the Waterfront at the Zillman Art Museum (Maine 2020) which was reviewed in Art New England. Juror John Seed included Dunn in Disrupted Realism featuring Anne Harris at the Buckham Gallery (Michigan 2020) for which she was awarded second prize. Dunn’s solo exhibition Étrange réalité at Galerie l’Échaudé (Paris 2012) 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 the inaugural Miami University Young Painters Competition. She has been selected for numerous publications including All SHE Makes Magazine as the featured interview and cover artist, Friend of the Artist Magazine, 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 University of Washington Seattle and the Rome Art Program in Rome, Italy. Dunn’s work is included in 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.

Artist statement:

These portraits tell stories that people of color, immigrants, and multicultural individuals want to share about themselves, caught between the American Reality and the American Dream. Their experiences vacillate between isolation and belonging, joy and sorrow, or hope and hopelessness. Color, rhythm, and light wrestle with dynamic tension and contradiction.

Selected solo exhibitions:

2023 Solo Exhibition, Dennos Museum. Traverse City, Michigan (forthcoming January 22-May 28, 2023))

2022 Suspended. First Street Gallery. New York, New York (forthcoming May 21-June 4, 2022) 2022 Teresa Dunn Paintings. Fischers Art Gallery, Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.

Findlay, Ohio (forthcoming)

2021 Longing to be, University of Alabama Huntsville, Huntsville, AL (September 6-October 1, 2021)

2021 Longing to be, Pendleton Center for the Arts. Pendleton, Oregon. February 4-March 31, 2021

2020 Cover the Waterfront, Leonard Gallery, Zillman Art Museum University of Maine. Bangor, Maine. January 9-May 4, 2020.

2019 Teresa Dunn Paintings, Lea Gallery, University of Findlay. Findlay, Ohio. November 4- December 16, 2019.

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