ARTIST Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham is a self-taught artist currently living and working in his home studio in Goodyear Arizona. Michael was born in Meadow Brook Long Island N.Y. He grew up in Elmont another small town in Long Island N.Y. As a child Michael was naturally inquisitive and fascinated with nature. He would often attempt to recreate things he encountered while out playing. Long Island was a wonderland at that time. Endless beaches, estuaries and marshes provided direct access to the abundant natural beauty he loves. After his service in the U.S. Army Michael enrolled in the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco California. He earned a degree in the culinary arts and is now a professional chef as well. He likes to en-fuse his love for both painting and cooking into a new work or a simple lunch.
Michael began painting over thirty years ago, some of his accomplishments include multiple public and private commissions. Museum and college slide presentations, lectures and painting demonstrations. A museum retrospective, prestigious solo gallery shows. His work has been displayed on syndicated television shows. In permanent public arts collections. Michael was the first African American art gallery owner in southern California in the mid 1990s. This is where Michael began to fine tune his approach to creating his own unique style of work which is distinctly his own. His work is focused on the lighter side of daily life and human endeavor.
Today Michael is co curator for Vision and Sound an African American Experience. It’s the first and only show of its kind in Arizona. Michael noticed a void for black art in the Phoenix art scene after relocating here. He wanted to develop a showcase for all disciplines of African American art. In 2016 Michael and his wife Norma launched Vision and Sound an African American Experience. The show is now in it’s fifth year and has grown to include musicians, authors, film makers and installation artists to name a few. Vision and Sound partners with all of the cities in the west valley and the west valley arts council.
My work is an exploration of abstract impressionism through texture, color and form. I attempt to achieve the perfect balance between form content and abstraction. My emphasis on texture and color gives the work an alluring quality. My work is a reflection of what I see and imagine from day to day. I create this work in a highly energetic process of orchestrated colors, mixing pigment with specific values. I paint with brushes used for details, palette knives to create texture capturing the spontaneity and impulsive thoughts that flow through the painting process.
WVAC is now open. Please check here for dates and information about our enhanced safety measures.