Stephen Bunyard Artist Bio
Stephen Glenn Bunyard was born to be creative. His father, Michael Bunyard, is an Electrical Engineer who participated in pioneering work in the field of micro electronics beginning in the 60’s and a general wizard at doing "stuff" from working on hot rods to executing his wife's creative notions. His mother, Patricia Kitchens Bunyard, returned to University in her late 30s and earned a Bachelors Degree in Home Economics – Fashion Design in 1983. It was during the time of his mother’s work toward her degree that Stephen was introduced to ceramics and spent a summer in the basement of the Texas Tech Museum. It truly was the result of being the youngest of the three children. Too young to be left to his own designs, Stephen accompanied his Mom to the ceramics lab on many weekends during a ceramics course taught by Vern Funk. Patricia developed a great love for ceramics. While this exposure did not result in any technical knowledge on his part, the enthusiasm for the medium was established. In the summer of 1982, Patricia did an internship with the TTU Museum working for Betty Mills in the Textile collection. Stephen again accompanied her and spent a few months enjoying all the interesting behind the scenes things a museum has to offer. All of these experiences coupled with a very active imagination, love of learning and love of drawing things resulted in a tremendous creative output as a musician, cartoonist, and artist in his young life
Fast forward a few years and Stephen graduated from Texas Tech University School of Architecture and moved to Phoenix Arizona to pursue his career as an Architect. The training as an architect reinforced Stephen’s love for art and creativity. Working full time as an Architect, Stephen made time for his pastime as an artist creating images and gained some recognition as a photographer. In the late 90’s, Stephen’s Mom decided the time was right to gift her son with her wheel, a kiln, and her ceramics library. After a few years of waiting for the right time, Stephen began working in clay, dividing his artistic time with photography. The old love was rekindled under the guidance of the resident artists at Phoenix Center for the Arts, first Seth Rainville, then Don Ridley.
Stephen has enjoyed success as a ceramic artist, participating in gallery shows at Phoenix Center for the Arts, The Shemer Art Museum, National Council on the Education for Ceramic Arts (NCECA) National Convention, The Bead Museum in Glendale, Chandler Center for the Arts, The Night Gallery, Art One Gallery and at the Peoria City Hall Art Gallery. Stephen has also been a guest artist on the Arizona State University Ceramic Research Center’s Studio tour since 2012. Stephen is a Juried Member of Arizona Art Alliance, and a member of AZ Clay Association.
Stephen’s Photography resume includes exhibitions at Art by Architects (Best of Show and three Jury Awards), Phoenix Center for the Arts and inclusion in the Photography magazines Best Photographers 1991.
Stephen's passions extend to other creative fields as well. Stephen is a musician and currently plays in the band, Safety Patrol. Safety Patrol is the brainchild of Stephen's longtime friend Don Cross, who made it his mission to bring safety messages to K-6th graders through music. Stephen plays the trumpet, bass, harmonica, tamborine, a mean cowbell (we all need more!) as well as lead and backing vocals. He even writes the occasional song for the group. Stephen's other loves are writing, glass blowing, working on his classic 1967 Mustang, and being a husband and father.
Work of the Month
"Dragon in the Garden"
This porcelain vessel has been decorated with a garden scene and a dragon. This evolution in my dragon pieces has largely been driven by my study of Japanese gardens and the art of Bonsai. This year I am working on a large commission for Phoenix Bonsai Society and will be participating in the Bonsai and Raku event at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix November 12th. I have been making decorative tea bowls for a while, but have moved into some larger pieces so I can do some more complex scenes. The garden elements you will find in this piece are a boundary wall, water feature, stone lantern, up right viewing rocks, and of corse manicured trees. I am very happy with the way this piece turned out.