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Marcus Dunn

2022 State Fellow

Marcus Dunn

Recipient Information


Laurinburg, North Carolina



Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowships

Grant Amount


Artist Statement

Referencing from early images of Native American boarding schools across North America, I make paintings that explore cultural assimilation to reconstruct a historical narrative. As one part of a long history of removing, conforming or killing indigenous people in the U.S., these boarding schools were meant to assimilate Native American children into white society through means of oppression and annihilation of their culture. I research these stories through found archival photographs from the Library of Congress and other Internet sources, reinterpreted in paintings of loose, direct layers of brushwork. The method of documentation used to create the visual record of cultural removal is reframed in the paintings. My work ranges from small to large scale to make a montage of acrylic paintings that radiate the spirit of the individual subjects. I'm interested in making the work in a fast, provisional, manner that explores the complexity of the boarding school stories, reflecting memory and its impact on the present.


Marcus Dunn (b. 1986, United States) has exhibited his work at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Gutstein Gallery in Savannah, Georgia. His work consists of small and large-scale paintings concerning memory and cultural identity. His heritage is of Pee Dee/Tuscarora and non-Native descent. He is currently living and working in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Prior to earning an M.F.A. in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he earned a B.F.A. in studio art at the Institute of American Indian Arts.