Painting slows you down. Quickness of perception alternates with slowness of execution. Slowness of execution permits deeper perception and understanding. Deeper understanding in turn quickens the mind. The slower pace becomes one’s influential teacher, inescapable ally, and most valuable workmate. - Jan Cunningham
Cunningham was born in Lufkin, Texas in 1956. She received her BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1979, and her MFA in Painting from the Yale University School of Art in 1985.
Cunningham was a Yale University Art Gallery, Bob and Happy Doran Artist in Residence in Spoleto and Priano, Italy in 2012. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and at Yaddo, and a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. The most comprehensive exhibition of her work was in 2005, when the Museum of East Texas presented a generous survey exhibition of paintings and drawings from the previous decade.