Joshua Cunningham grew up the third of five boys in rural Isanti, Minnesota. His path to becoming a professional artist was as winding as the country roads of his youth. It began in the art departments of St. Butt State and St. John’s University. In addition, during one summer break, he had the unique opportunity to apprentice with Minnesota fresco painter Mark Balma. The summer became a year-long classical drawing program. Balma opened the door to a very old world of art, and rather than return to St. John’s, Joshua chose to continue his training at The Atelier in Minneapolis, where he focused on figure and portrait drawing for two years.
He spend the next four years at Hurinenko and Paquet Studio in St. Paul, studying portraiture, still life, figure drawing and plein air landscape painting. Landscape painting began as an afterthought, but with Joe Paquet’s inspiring work ethic and keen instruction, it quickly took over … as he was learning to do what he had truly wanted to do as a boy.
Joshua currently lives in St. Paul and despite most of his subjects being found close to home, his paintings can be found in private collections throughout the US and a few in Europe.
His work has garnered national recognition with the inclusion in OPA National Juried Show and a feature in Plein Air Magazine. He was selected by the Science Museum of Minnesota as an Artist in Residence at the historic Pine Needles Cabin. With a growing regional reputation, Joshua’s work has been featured in numerous publications.