The Art of Michael Dunn

A Good Cause
Author Interview: Marge Piercy
The Poetry of Marge Piercy
The Art of Michael Dunn
Who Says I Can't: Talking with Jothy Rosenberg
NonFiction II
NonFiction III
Fiction II
Fiction III
Poetry II
Poetry III
Cigar Lounge
Zinta Reviews - Prose
Zinta Reviews - Poetry
Jeanette Reviews
Links and Resources
Submission Guidelines
Third Annual Short Story Contest
The Editors


Michael’s art can be seen throughout the Spring 2010 Issue of The Smoking Poet—enjoy.


Michael Dunn: Art is the Passage



"Art is a passage or a connection to other worlds beyond the safety and the comfort of home. Art is not meant to be comfortable, but more uncertain and less predictable. It is the starting point of a transition and it is the end of the trip. Either way it is the point of origin. The end is also the beginning of a new journey and the end

of an ancient mystery.


Art is the passage between artist and viewer, between reality and imagination, between risk and safety. Art becomes a labyrinth, a twisted and confused walled pathway. Once you enter, the way requires the viewer’s perspective, effort and at times, sense of humor. Answers are not necessarily obvious or easy. The surface is only the beginning and light becomes more elusive as the shadows deepen. It only matters that one is open and make the first step."

                                                                   ~ Michael Dunn


Michael Dunn attended Three Rivers Schools and decided at the age of 15 that he wanted to be an architect. His father did not even know what an architect did, but only that it was not for his son. His father would change his mind.


Michael attended University of Michigan in the late 60s and learned about life. He started in architecture, but got impatient with a lack of creativity in the curriculum and switched to art. It was exciting, but just before graduation, he changed his mind.


He left school in his senior year and washed dishes. Michael  answered an ad in the Kalamazoo Gazette by an architect for a draftsman. Dick Slocum took the risk and the time to train Michael during the good times and the bad. He never changed his mind.


After working for more than 20 years as an architect for several firms, Michael decided to go back and finish the degree he started. It was something that needed to be completed to honor his father. He enrolled in art at Western Michigan University and made up his mind.


Michael finished his BFA degree in 1993 and with the support of his partner, Marsha Meyer, decided to continue to work towards an MFA degree. It was an opportunity to work with other artists that shared one passion, art. He never changed his mind.


He finished his degree in 1996, a double emphasis in painting and printmaking. Some things never change. Michael’s works have been in numerous one-person and group shows. He also has created many offices and residences in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area. He can’t make up his mind which he enjoys more and he doesn’t have to.







by Michael Dunn


What is a portal? A door. A window. A hole or an opening. A passage or a connection to where or to what or possibly to whom? It is the starting point of a transition and it is the end of the trip. Either way it is only the point of origin. At some time, we all have begun an adventure or ended one. The end is also the beginning of a new journey and a mystery, hopefully.


What lies beyond the wall is the question and the answer we all search from one moment to the next if we are curious. It does take time. Sometimes it requires significant amounts of time and even more curiosity. Rarely does it come easily. If it does, go back and ask yourself if you missed something. It is not just a puzzle or a mind game. It is almost real at the same time that it is surreal. It is about dreams and objective reality.


If one were to enter the portal with an open mind would one be assured of an answer? Doubts emerge from your own fear of failure. If you can be reassured that you can’t fail, would you make the journey? Remember what they say about the first step, or was it leap? Who said that art or life had to be easy? Who said that there was only one correct answer? Your algebra instructor?  It is only by passing through the portal that one begins to find the connection. Is there more than one passage or one connection?


A passage becomes like a labyrinth, a twisted and confused walled pathway. There should be a path to the center, shouldn’t there? Once you enter the portal, the way requires perspective and gives you no quarter. Light becomes harder to find as the shadows set-in around you. Is it time to play or time to panic? Neither and both. It doesn’t really matter only that you did and that is the real connection. Between artist and viewer. Between the idea and the object. Between our reality and our dreams. It proves that you are participating and therefore alive. It is too easy to be waited on hand and foot, but far more rewarding to explore the connections. First you must enter the portal.


Search yourself.

Michael Dunn, personal collection


The Art in Architecture: Michael Dunn Design


Arcadia Condominiums, Michael Dunn Design, Kalamazoo, MI





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