Tina Maria Dunkley describes herself as a mixed media artist working with fiber, paint, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video. These different media, Dunkley says, help her “to investigate the varied manifestations of the African Diaspora saturated in generations of European thought and consciousness.”
Her professional journey began in 1979, when she was a graduate student of African American studies at Atlanta University (later Clark Atlanta University). One day Dunkley passed by the glass doors of Trevor Arnett Hall, where dozens of artworks by ignored African American artists sat on display without an audience. The sight made her determined to lift the historic artists and their works from obscurity and changed the course of her life. Dunkley served as curator of the university’s collection from 1980 to 1987, during which time she moved it into a more prominent gallery and added nearly 900 works. In 1994 she became the director of the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries, and her dedication to the previously little-known collection earned her the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Dunkley has exhibited numerous works of her own at such Atlanta venues as the High Museum of Art, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, and Spelman College. Her works are also part of several corporate collections, including those of AT&T, IBM, and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Her fiber work Batik Trapunto is part of Georgia’s State Art Collection.