Amanda Dunbar was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada in 1982. She moved to Allen TX in 1994 at the age of 12.
Amanda Dunbar began painting in a public after school art class at the age of 12. Her spontaneous and advanced works acquired significant interest immediately. Amanda is currently listed as a prodigy of the visual arts in the current textbooks for advanced university education entitled “Child Psychology” by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Art has a language all its own. The language of my art is not limited to the dialogue between the process of painting and the surface of the canvas alone, but also embraces a dialogue between the viewer’s emotional experience and their perception through sight. When a subject is deemed “worthy” of being made into a work of art, the viewer has an opportunity to view that subject in a different way. It is important to me that I respect the viewer’s dignity, spirituality and humanity while conveying these messages predominantly through color, texture and representation.
Communication is achieved in many provocative ways. For me, the process of painting in oil, my instinctively chosen medium, allows me a sensual catharsis among liaisons with color, smell and touch. The tactile whispers of this medium compel me to create art that honors who I am as a person and to create works that speak to those who share my muse or find inspiration among my processes. It is both an honor and a responsibility to communicate in this way. Mine is the communication of but one voice. I want that message to be heard, seen, felt and experienced.
Perhaps due to my youth, I am driven to explore the wonders of simple experiences, nature and the sacred values of humanity among seemingly hostile climates. A major theme that reoccurs in my artwork is the idea of facets; by this I mean different levels of meaning; many parts making up a whole. Mine is a confusingly complex world. As I learn and mature both physically and artistically, I strive to achieve greater understanding while I capture worthy subjects with honesty and grace. I will forever be a student.
Art is communication. Art seeks to inform. Information is power. Art equals power.
- Amanda Dunbar -
1999. At age 16, Amanda Dunbar had her first solo art exhibition in a Dallas art gallery. The exhibit showing approx. 70 paintings sold out in 2 weeks to an estimated $650,000.00. She began her first art exhibition tour in galleries across the country afterward.
2000 At age 17, Amanda Dunbar had been profiled on multiple TV shows including the Oprah Show twice and she had been profiled in numerous magazines and newspapers internationally. Amanda’s coffee table book “Guided by Angels” was also released. It became a best seller in its category and sold out in under a year. Amanda graduated from her local public high school the same year along with her peers.
2001 By age18, Amanda Dunbar was invited to work and study at the esteemed Mourlot Ateliers in Paris France in order to learn the traditional craft of stone lithography. The historic studios became famous for assisting notable artists such as Picasso and Miro to reproduce their works. With the support of her family, Amanda also took over ownership and full operational control of her multimillion dollar studio art business. She then became a full-time undergraduate student, living among her peers in a dorm at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Amanda also began her own not-for-profit organization to support children’s and artist’s causes later in the year.
2002 At age 19, and after 9/11, Amanda Dunbar became a naturalized US Citizen. Her art program following 9/11 benefited many affected by the tragedies. Amanda also becamea role model to young girls worldwide with the portrayal of her life as an artist in a documentary entitled “The Artist in Me”, a special feature on Mattel’s Barbie as Rapunzel DVD. Her art was also used throughout the animated feature. Amanda Dunbar has become a positive role model and a household name among young children and parents alike through the documentary project. She has inspired many people since to attend gallery openings and museum exhibits.
2003 At age 20, Amanda Dunbar became an ambassador to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. She also became a regular supporter of several charitable organizations including the Grammy’s Musicares Foundation for artists and the Los Angeles based Carousel of Hope supporting research into juvenile diabetes. She also opened her own private art gallery in Dallas TX after returning from international study in Italy and Spain.
2004 At 21, Amanda Dunbar graduated from SMU with a BFA in Art History with honors and distinction. She acquired her first $1M painting commission the same week, from an international collector. Most of the commission was painted in her dorm room at SMU. Amanda later began a painting residency in Fiji and continued her charitable work including her representation of the state of Texas at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Proceeds from the ball support children’s hospitals.
2005 At 22, Dunbar’s successful art exhibitions, travel and speaking engagements took her around the country. She was a key note speaker to numerous groups including the Texas Art Education Association and has lectured on subjects ranging from complex issues such as ethics, intellectual properties and marketing to motivation and philanthropy. Her favorite themes support the return to the simplest pleasures in life, gratitude and social conscience. Amanda also took part in more foreign studies in photography in Manus, Brazil and on the Amazon River.
2006. At the age of 23, Amanda Dunbar was inducted into the Governor’s Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in the Arts Category. She is the youngest honoree to date and the only painter in history to join the elite group of accomplished women that include former First Lady Barbara Bush and astronaut Sally Ride. Amanda Dunbar has supported artists and artist’s causes nationally through her participation in such causes as Gibson Guitar’s “Guitartown” projects, by judging Red Bull’s “Art of the Can” projects and through the Grammy’s Musicares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation. Although she supports multiple causes, her most visible children’s cause in Texas saw one of her paintings help raise enough money in an auction for the Texas Medical Association Foundation to help immunize 27,000 children in their “Be Wise, Immunize” program. Professionally, Amanda traveled back to France to study at the Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art with the Rhode Island School of Design where she acquired her Post Baccalaureate certification.
2007 Amanda began working on her MA at Southern Methodist University. She also began work with the World Craniofacial Foundation. Her charitable giving caught the attention of the media when they discovered that her donations had toppled $1M. Amanda was profiled by ABC World News as America’s “Person of the Week” by Charles Gibson for her extraordinary art, life and philanthropy. She was also celebrated in her home town of Allen Texas where signage was placed throughout the city in her honor. She remains a consistent and positive female role model to many in that community.
2008 Amanda continued to work on her MA while also preparing her newest art collection entitled “Precious Rebels”. Her fully playable art guitars, clad in 100% Swarovski crystal were released as part of a larger collection in the fall of 2008. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus commissioned Amanda to create 3 limited edition designs to be sold exclusively through their stores and their Holiday Book 2008. The remainder of the collection has been popular among celebrities and collectors alike. It contains uniquely designed guitars, a functional guitar chandelier and a shimmering grand piano.
2009 Amanda completed her MA studies all but her thesis. She received an award of distinction from the Southern Methodist University Alumni Board for Emerging Leadership. The award is given to an outstanding Alumnus or Alumna who has graduated in the past 15 years and was established to recognize extraordinary achievement, outstanding character and good citizenship. Amanda also received the 2009 Americanism award from the Texas State DAR regents. The award is given periodically to honor an outstanding naturalized US citizen. Early in the year, Amanda created the “Precious Rebel” Gibson Les Paul guitar for front man Chad Kroeger of the band Nickelback to play for the group’s opening performance at the Canadian Juno Awards. (See video at PreciousRebels.com) The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles placed their commissioned Precious Rebels art guitar in their collection honoring the Academy’s 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards. Additionally, Amanda’s 10 foot Gibson Les Paul public art sculpture entitled “Miami Heat” was permanently placed outside the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL. It was created as an extension of Gibson’s charitable Guitartown project supporting community and the arts. Amanda’s spectacular Precious Rebels guitars and installation displays began touring museums early in 2009 launching with the Longview Museum of Fine Art in Texas. European media and publications began dubbing the instruments as “among the most beautiful and expensive guitars in the world.” Amanda’s Precious Rebels instruments are also scheduled to be among the exclusive gift offerings of BOKKS London, a luxury gift giving company and project associated with Dustin Hoffman and Karl Lagerfeld.
2010 Amanda began the year professionally with her participation in the exhibit entitled “The Guitar, Art, Artists and Artisans at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Her spectacular rotating chandelier installation is the central anchor of the exhibition. Amanda’s Precious Rebels collection also became the Signing Bonus feature for the premiere issue of Athlete’s Quarterly magazine. In the past several years, Amanda Dunbar’s art has been seamlessly crossing boundaries from art to fashion, music, popular culture and sports. Amanda has additionally begun work on 3 new book publications and will be creating the Fantasy Forest mural valued at over half a million dollars that will be donated to the newest campus of Children’s Medical Center, Dallas. She continues to be an active ambassador to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and a supporter of the Grammy’s Musicares Foundation, the Grammy Foundation and a host of other reputable charitable organizations. Amanda Dunbar is a member and supporter of many art related organizations and museums across the nation.