About Michael Dunbar, Scuplture
Michael Austin Dunbar, (1947 --) American sculptor. Over four decades Dunbar has been an important figure in Public Art, creating large scale outdoor sculptures while also assembling major public art collections and important sculpture exhibitions.
Born in Santa Paula, California on September 21, 1947, Michael Dunbar moved with his parents to Illinois in1953. Dunbar grew up and attended school and college in America’s Heartland.
Dunbar graduated with a B.A. Degree from Illinois State University in 1973. That same year, he entered into the newly created Community Arts Management Program at the University of Illinois in Springfield, Illinois receiving a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. The focus of his studies with the program was on the recently enacted (1972) public art programs of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Art in Public Places program of the General Services Administration. In1976, he received a M.A. Degree in Arts Management from the University of Illinois, Springfield, Illinois. He went on to receive a M.S. Degree from Illinois State University at Normal, Illinois in Visual Arts in 1980.
From 1977 to 2011, Michael Dunbar served as the first Art-in-Architecture Coordinator for the Public Art Program for the State of Illinois. In that position he wrote the guidelines, procedures, and contracts for the newly created program. During his 33 years as the coordinator of the program he was responsible for the procurement of hundreds of works of public art by Illinois artist, totaling over 28 million dollars for state buildings throughout Illinois.
In 1995 he created and along with fellow artist, Terry Karpowicz, co-produced Pier Walk, a venue that challenged sculptors from around the world to exhibit their art work in Chicago. Over a six-year period, Dunbar and Karpowicz recruited or conducted the selection process for as many as 450 works by nationally and internationally known sculptors for exhibition at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier through 2001.
From 1997 to 2013, Dunbar served as guest curator for the Monticello Sculpture Garden at Lewis and Clark Community College where he assembled a collection of important bronze outdoor sculptures for the college campus.
Michael Dunbar has received numerous awards over the years including the International Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 2021. The Award of Honor at the HUMAN•NATURE, International Sculpture Exhibition in Zhengzhou, China in 2019, the Wuhu Liu Kaiqu Top Award of Honor at the 5th International Sculpture Exhibition in Anhui China in 2017, the International Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 2007, a National Endowment for the Arts, Fellowship in1974, the Illinois Arts Council, Governors Art Award in 1973 and others.
Dunbar established his sculpture studio in 1974 and has been creating large scale outdoor sculptures ever since. Michael Dunbar’s 45 years of involvement in these Public Art arenas has given him a unique perspective and historic reference to the world of Public Art.
1980 M.S. Degree, Illinois State University, Normal Illinois
1976, M.A Degree, University of Illinois, Springfield, Illinois
1973, B.A. Degree, Illinois State University Normal, Illinois
1971 A.A. Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, Illinois