Teresa Dunn’s Artwork Reflects Her Dual Cultural Heritages


The East Oregonian Gallery at the Pendleton Center for the Arts has been transformed from a holiday shopping venue back to a formal gallery space that features contemporary work. The exhibit season kicks off with Teresa Dunn’s exhibit, Longing to Be, opening Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. with an online reception with the artist.

Private gallery visits for up to four people may be scheduled through March 30.

Moonlight Tug by Teresa Dunn

Dunn is a Mexican American artist raised in rural Southern Illinois. Her identity, life, and art are poetically influenced by being suspended between two cultural heritages. Language, space, color, light, and storytelling find expressiveness through moving toward and away from simultaneously contradictory tensions. Dunn cites Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands as accurately reflecting her own reconciliation of her mexicansimo with her American-ness and the complexities of growing up and living as a multicultural woman in the Midwest.

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 represented by First Street Gallery in New York City and Galerie l’Échaudé in Paris, France.

Dunn was a finalist in the 2000 William and Dorothy Yeck Miami University Young Painters Competition and won Best in Show at the 2008 Biennial of Contemporary Realism at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has been included in numerous publications including Studio Visits and Paint Pulse Magazine. She has conducted many visiting artist lectures including a 2017 lecture and student critiques at the Rome Art Program in Rome, Italy. Teresa Dunn is currently an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Michigan State University in East Lansing where she has taught since 2006.

The Zoom Opening Reception will pair Dunn, from her home in East Lansing, with PCA staff, who will provide images of work and gallery views. Guests may request a link by emailing  or calling 541-310-7413. Any community members who need help setting up Zoom may also contact PCA for one-on-one instruction.

Visitors may schedule a private visit to the gallery, including shopping in the Pendleton Foundation Trust Fine Craft Gallery, by calling 541-310-7413 or emailing director@pendletonarts.org. Admission is always free, thanks to the Oregon Arts Commission and members of the Arts Council of Pendleton. For more information visit pendletonarts.org.


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