Geoffrey P. Dunn – Biographical sketch
Geoffrey P. Dunn, MD, FACS, is a retired general surgeon and palliative care physician. His surgical experience included trauma, burns, pediatrics, and cancer in this country and abroad where he was a visiting professor in India, Great Britain, Canada, China, and Norway. Since 1997 his clinical work and writing have focused on the education of surgeons nationally and internationally about the principles and practice of palliative care in the setting of serious and life-limiting illness.
Painting has been an important activity in Dunn’s life ever since it was recommended it to him at age 13 by his mother when he was confined to quarters for misbehavior at school. Upon graduation from Groton School he had a one-person show of his work, earning him the school prize in fine arts. He also received the school’s prize for best historical essay in which he chronicled the development of American landscape painting during the 19th Century.
In college Dunn majored in religion and minored in fine arts, studying with the Dutch painter, Charles Stegeman. Ironically, it was Professor Stegeman who first suggested to Dunn a career in medicine: “You are a very competent painter and do fabulous work, but I believe your heart is elsewhere. I think you should be a doctor.” During this time, Dunn studied privately in Erie for several years with professional artist, Andrew Sanders. After a long hiatus, Dunn resumed painting working in acrylic during trips to the Georgian Bay region of Ontario. During the late 1990s Dunn discovered a new purpose to painting with the encouragement of Brother Thomas, a world-renowned potter. During this time, landscape painting became the metaphor through which his vision of surgery and therapeutics in general emerged. The metaphor of plein air painting was the subject of much of Dunn’s subsequent professional writing and lecturing. For the past decade, oil has been Dunn’s preferred medium.
Dunn has had four solo exhibits at Glass Growers Gallery in Erie, PA and two solo exhibits at the Erie Insurance Group’s gallery. Additionally, he exhibited annually at the Mercyhurst faculty exhibit, and twice at the Erie Art Museum Spring Show. Dr. Dunn is a member of the Northwest Pennsylvania Artists Association and in 2012, he was accepted as a non-resident artist member of the Salmagundi Art Club in New York City. He exhibited in a juried show there in 2014 and received an Honorable Mention. Dunn’s work is currently exhibited at the Pucker Gallery in Boston, and Glass Growers Gallery, Kada Gallery, and Relish in Erie. Private patrons have commissioned his work over the past several years.
"Pandemic Paintings: In Praise of Home" Exhibit
The painting "SOHO" was the last painting I did in New York before I left late in 2019. It’s a view of the portal to a shuttered night club on Crosby Street in Soho. I imagined this as a contemporary response to Monet’s paintings of Rouen Cathedral. In this case, however, it was a portal to hell instead of heaven. The immolation of Notre Dame, the other most famous cathedral in France, earlier in the year came into my mind. I had been wondering all that year if the burning of one of the great cultural icons of Western Civilization was an omen of things to come. As I painted this I had a premonition of something dreadful coming to the city, yet I couldn’t fathom what it could possibly be. It came. A few months later in February 2020 Covid-19 struck the city with raging fury. New York, itself, became a shuttered nightclub. I had already retuned to Erie where, under the circumstances, I instinctively turned to the greatest healer of all – nature. This exhibit presents a series of plein air meditations through which my sense of hope for all of us and a more profound love of my home were realized.
**This exhibit runs until September 5, 2022. Purchases made will be available for pick-up, delivery, or shipping after that time. Let us know if you have a special circumstance and need it sooner.**