Teresa Dunn

(517) 355-7638

315 Kresge Art Center
600 Auditorium Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyArt, Art History, and Design


Curriculum Vitae


Teresa Dunn is a Mexican American artist raised in rural Southern Illinois. Her identity, life, and art are influenced by her racial and cultural heritages and the complexities of being a brown woman in the Midwest.

Teresa Dunn received her MFA from Indiana University Bloomington in 2002. She is a three-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellowship, received the Jacob K Javits Fellowship from the US Department of Education, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Winners, and recipient of the Puffin Foundation Limited Grant.

Dunn is affiliated Galerie l’Échaudé (Paris). Recent solo exhibitions venues include at Central Michigan University (2024), Buckham Gallery (2023 Michigan), First Street Gallery (2022), The Dennos Museum (2023 Michigan), University of Alabama Huntsville (2021), 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. Recent group exhibitions include at the National Arts Club (New York 2023) and The Painting Center in New York (2022). John Seed included Dunn in his publication More Disruption: Representation in Flux by Schiffer Publishing (2023). 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 (2000). She was invited by All SHE Makes Magazine to be the featured cover artist in the inaugural issue with interview by Teri Henderson. Other publications include An Artist and a Mother (Demeter Press 2023), Friend of the Artist Magazine, 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 Central Michigan University, Paloozanoire, The Dennos Museum Center, 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

The complexities of being a brown Mexican-American from a small Midwestern town in the heartland of the USA are the formative inspirations for my recent artwork. These paintings bring voice to stories that people of color, multicultural individuals, and immigrants want to share about themselves through visually poetic constructed realities. Themes of isolation and belonging, joy and struggle, relationships and identity, and hope and hopelessness emerge in the visual storytelling. The narratives are fictive futures, potential alternate realities, speculative nonfiction, or distorted depictions of past events. What could be interpreted as nostalgia is often subverted by psychological tension built on questions of race, gender, identity, and belonging. My paintings are not didactic nor do they propose solutions for issues I consider. Instead, my artwork prioritizes experiences that represent and value Black and Brown lives.

Awards and Honors


University News

Art, Art History, and Design Faculty Triennial Exhibit Runs Through July 21 at MSU Broad
Published February 5, 2024 in College of Arts & Letters
The works of 22 Department of Art, Art History, and Design (AAHD) faculty are now on display through July 21, 2024, at the MSU Broad Art Museum as part of an exhibition that highlights the diverse,…Read now »
Faculty Promotions for 2022
Published December 1, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
The College of Arts & Letters is pleased to recognize the faculty members who recently were promoted to full professor, associate professor, or associate professor-fixed term. Full Professor…Read now »
Alumna Completes an Art Project Every Single Day of the Year
Published August 9, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Jill Hakala, artist, painter, and alumna of MSU’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, has taken a unique and creative approach to art through her 365 projects, a series of original works…Read now »
No Hands, No Limits, No Problem for Graduating Studio Art Senior
Published December 11, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
a women with long dark hair wearing a white smock painting a picture with no hands
Born with no hands and missing her big toes and supporting bones on each foot, Kathryn Bailey hasn’t allowed her quadrilateral limb deficiency to keep her from living a “normal” life and…Read now »
Citizen Scholars Install Sexual Assault Awareness Public Art
Published May 2, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
Photo of teal ribbon art installation on chain link fence
Students from the College of Arts & Letters Citizen Scholars Program recently proposed and installed a public art piece, titled Reweaving our Social Fabric: Fiber Installation…Read now »