Teri Cunningham was raised in Anadarko, Oklahoma, a small town rich in Native American culture and history. As a child, Teri was exposed to art by local Native artists such as White Buffalo, Robert Redbird, and Stephen Mopope. Art filled the everyday lives of the community with a history told in painted color. Some of the most moving paintings were murals painted by Mopope, one of the “Kiowa Five”. Stephen Mopope’s murals grace the interior walls of the local movie theater and post office and are considered an artistic treasure. For Teri, growing up in a small town that encouraged creativity, art became a language for gaining an understanding of the past.
While the Traditional Indian Painting continues to influence Teri’s desire to tell a story on canvas, she is also influenced by John Singer Sargent and Rembrandt. The loose stokes of Sargent and the dramatic light of Rembrandt find their way into many of Teri’s paintings.
I paint women and children to show their beauty, vulnerability, strength and resilience. Whether the painting is of a dancer or a mother and child, I wish to respectfully tell their story.