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Conversations with Tara Dunbar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Dunbar. 

Hi Tara, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hi, my name is Tara, and my art is very strange. I paint and draw in a very surreal and unique way that seems to bury emotion deep within it. As a young child, I remember being mesmerized by creativity with only crayons and markers. I believe the inner drive to create is within us. I have had a passion to view art and create it as well my entire life. I am a bit shy about showing my art, and have only recently this year stepped out with it. Before this, only a couple years ago it was in closets and under beds. Many people over the years had encouraged me to share, so one day I decided to do just that. I was always worried they would be destroyed somehow, so I knew it was time. Instead of hiding it away, I started showing it. Instagram @strangeartkc101 was my first account. I added FB, Twitter, and Etsy in. I am self-taught on computer and yes, my artwork as well. Although not attending college, I studied arts my own and now I produce the passionate art you see from me. I am approached frequently for the strange disturbing emotion that leaks its way from my work, and my mind works very quickly, so always something different and new coming from my hands. I feel my art gift is from something much bigger than my own self. A God with a very universal understanding in the human mind. I now sell paintings on a slow but steady basis, some prints and oddities that I create. I’m in Jones gallery the month of November. This is surreal dream for my surreal art, to show it to the world’s eyes, for them to see. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It never is a smooth road for humans in this world. Each of our struggles are our own and no one can walk truly in another’s shoes. And also, we all did not raise our hand to be born, so to me, struggle is always in a person’s life from being born. It’s the drive to live that drives each person to reach into the unknown and excel, or to sit idle. My father was very ill my entire life and died young. I became an adult early in life, oldest of 4 siblings. Every job I’ve ever done was creative in some way. Doing what you love never seems quite like work. I am humble, and I clean house and work other jobs to support my art flow. Only this year have I really had the amount of canvases I needed to keep up with my crazy, wild ideas. When I create, I feel free…my mind goes places, into other lands or places that I am imagining as I work. Art is also a very good therapy, and I have had many many traumatic experiences and art has always pulled me through. It’s been guiding light into the unknown questions of the world. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in mixed media creations and acrylic paintings in a very surreal, and extremely emotional manner. I do anything from people to eyeballs, to sea and landscapes. In my art world, anything goes, and no rules apply… I try to bring the dark from the light and the light from the dark. All emotion is valid, I crave to paint the pain and emotion I see and feel in the world. Even I get curious to what’s next…and keep in mind, it has to be fun! 

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk-taking?
I feel anxious a lot when it comes to computers and driving on the highway! To me, those things seem risky😁 haha. 

Some days I feel like I’m risking my identity being in public online. I make a lot of mistakes. I have crashed computers. I had to learn to photograph my own art…which is not easy for me at all. It took me a lot of planning to be able to transport my art back and forth to Northeast Kansas City the last 6 months in order to show it at @artgardenkc, which can be found on FB and Instagram. Although I only sold a fraction of what I took, the networking in that little art community has lifted my heart and soul to another level. The founders Bethany and Margarita took me in under their wings… and here I am today in the flesh showing and selling artwork. I had to save money to get the vending equipment but now I’ve also showed all over the city including A First Friday KC, pulling my tiny trailer behind my car. This all seems very risky but it’s the risk I take to allow eyes to view the strange art in person. Cyber showing only can show me so much. To see the faces, light up as they look into my paintings is a true fulfillment for me. I have busted my shins on my trailer hitch numerous times, I have hurt my drawing hand and my back doing the trips to the city unloading and loading equipment time and time again. However, the joy makes me want to live there! Hugs to my City it was the only way to communicate with the world. So, I took the chance, we will see how it ends hahaha 

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @strangeartkc101
  • Facebook: Tara.dunbar.311
  • Twitter: StrangeArtKC1

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1 Comment

  1. Cindy

    December 5, 2021 at 3:41 am

    So proud of Tara, my daughter! Love her expressive art creations.
    Love you girl!

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