Article in Dallas Morning News
Pleased to share an article about my life as a mother, artist and creative soul was published in the Dallas Morning News on November 16, 2012. You can copy and paste the link in your browser or the text is below.
FOR DALLAS ARTIST GINA MARIE DUNN, BREAKFAST IS AN ART SHOW
The Dunn household favors fruity smoothies and waffles for breakfast, but often a helping of art is served, too. The familys shotgun-style kitchen empties out into what artist Gina Marie Dunn, 33, of Highland Park calls the heart of the home the breakfast room.
Here, Dunns husband and three young children start the day with art du jour on the walls. Dunn creates her serene, vibrant, abstract art in the familys detached garage and puts it in the breakfast room for final critiques.
Our collection always rotates, she says. Sometimes its my art. Sometimes its the kids art.
Dunn, often wearing yoga garb, slips a fistful of spinach into the kids smoothies every morning. She teaches yoga as well as art classes.
The other day, my daughter Annabella saw the spinach going into the blender and said, Mom, has that been in our smoothies all this time? Dunn says.
The breakfast-room art display lets Dunn look at the art in a new setting, and the showings seem to open dialogues with the family.
Conversations about life and emotions crop up; the kids often use the art to talk about their joys and fears.
It helps you look at it with new eyes, and you get that shift in perspective, she says.
Recently, Dunn asked Annabella, 6, if she thought one of the paintings seemed finished.
Oh, no, Mommy, it needs glitter and purple sparkles over there, she said.
Youre soooo right, Dunn told her.
They keep it real, Dunn says, a hint of her native Brooklyn accent hanging on even though shes spent most of her life in Dallas.
Husband Craigs opinion matters too. Dunn can sense by his reaction when hes moved by a particular piece.
A Loyola University graduate, Dunn initially went into corporate public relations and later began teaching art to children. She teaches at Art Stop in Dallas and is a summer art educator at the Dallas Museum of Art. Her communications experience helps in her teaching and in marketing her art.
In 2010, the downtown Omni Dallas Hotel ordered 25 paintings and needed them in two weeks. She created an assembly line in her studio to get it done.
The big sale validated Dunns work commercially. Another event in her life confirmed a greater purpose for her art.
While expecting her third child, a son named Mack, Dunn had a difficult pregnancy; it provided an aspect change like no other.
We didnt know if he was going to make it. There were tumors showing up in his lungs, and we found out about it during a routine sonogram, she says. I turned to my art as therapy to kind of deal with this grave diagnosis.
She put her daughter and first son to bed each night and then retreated to her studio, painting to cope and process all of the uncertainties.
I could go through the whole day distracted with two young kids at the time, she says, but at night when I was out in the studio, it was this time where I could bond and connect with the baby on the way.
She says that this became a meditative, spiritual time to process her fears and put forth hope for a positive outcome.
My body sort of became a conduit for this energy. You get in that flow state, which artists and athletes commonly find, where everything else just falls away, she says.
Our little miracle
The day came for Macks grand entrance into this world.
There was a SWAT-like medical team of experts ready to whisk him away when he was born. They scanned him immediately and there were no more tumors.
He was our little miracle, and if it wasnt for that experience, I wouldnt have gotten back to my art.
Dunn, an eloquent, almost poetic communicator, often has thoughts, stories or words embedded in her paintings.
A stack of locked diaries from her youth, filled with words and sketches on lined paper, perhaps marked the beginning of her path to artistic expression.
Writing is another tool for expression, she says. Diary or journal writing is about the process of getting it out on paper and putting it behind you and then turning the page to find a blank slate where you are ready to move on.
Displaying her art in an online gallery called theartmenu.com, Dunn shares her talents with the masses, but some of her most valued input comes over waffles from a certain beloved panel of art critics.
Clare Miers is a Dallas freelance writer.
Featured Artist at Calypso St. Barth/ Calypso Home
Excited to announce that my artwork was selected to be shown at Calypso St. Barth's and Calypso Home this Fall.
Since launching its first store in 1992 in St. Barth, Calypso St. Barth has grown from a modest resort-wear boutique to a national luxury lifestyle brand with a passionate following.
Artwork on display is available for purchase.
My art was selected for a 1/4 page color feature in the August issue of Origin Magazine. This occasion marks the seventh time my artwork has been nationally published.
Next time you are at Whole Foods Market , please pick up a copy of Origin Magazine.--the arts + conscious lifestyle magazine that is changing the planet! Amazing articles from Chuck D, Joan Osbourne, Adrian Grenier, Tara Stiles & Deepak Chopra --to name a few. And alongside them are some beautiful creative souls from our local arts + yoga communities.
I'm grateful to be a part of the Origin team as Dallas Art Director--we have worked very hard to build this magazine to speak to yogis + artists + humanitarians , create community and build bridges. A year ago we were a little Texas indie publication based out of Austin, and now Origin has shifted its scope to the national level is available at major retailers across the country, still preserving the independent spirit and recognizing people who are creating a change and leading the way in arts + yoga+ humanitarian content. Be the change! Oh..and did I mention Adrian Grenier is on one of the covers? Run--don't walk. ;)
*Bio & News*
Gina Dunns work is a combination of truth; a passion that you can see yourself in. Her compositions are abundant with nature and human touch, constantly revealing a secret. The strokes of earthy tones, textures and energetic symbols in her abstract works always tell a story. Each work in its own way addresses the vulnerability that stems from being at the mercy of powers greater than us but also from the knowledge that life is precious and beautiful.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Gina Marie Dunn has lived in Dallas much of her life. She attended Ursuline Academy and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Loyola University New Orleans with B.A. in Communications and a Minor in Studio Arts.
Gina Dunn is currently an Educator at the Dallas Museum of Art and Art Stop, a Certified Yoga Instructor and Dallas Art Director for Origin Magazine. Ms Dunn draws inspiration from her students and the beauty of the journey: Letting go, taking big risks and creating from a place of freedom.
Her work has been displayed at Rising Gallery, The Latino Cultural Center, LuminArte Gallery and others throughout Texas and the Southwest. Her work is featured in both private and commercial collections and publications, nationally and internationally.
Gina is a wife and mother of three, has fun making art every day, and believes it is never too early to instill a love of the arts in children. She is also an active community arts advocate and serves on various local philanthropic committees by donating her time and talent.