To mark the departure of Tina Dunkley from her longtime post as director of the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries earlier this year, I spoke with her recently at the StoryCorps booth at the Atlanta History Center. Summing up the life and career of this artist, curator, and teacher in a single sit-down proved to be easier planned than said, though. Dunkley and I have known each other since the early years of my arts journalism. The moment I saw her metaphorical depiction of a transatlantic ship carrying enslaved Africans to American shores, one of several such images in her Arktype Sustenance series, I knew she contained multitudes. And the many Tina Dunkleys I got to meet in the course of our interview did not disappoint.
In this 8-minute excerpt from our hourlong session, Tina talks about her influential teachers at the School of Visual Arts in New York, an unexpected studio visit by Romare Bearden and Richard Long, and her problem with the term “black experience,” especially as it pertains to the exhibition she curated for the Cultural Olympiad of the 1996 Olympic Games.
BURNAWAY’s audio program is supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts.
This project is supported in part by the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.