Born in Bronxville, NY in 1961, Tula Telfair grew up in Africa, East Asia, and Europe before settling in the United States. She received her BFA in 1984 from Moore College of Art and Design as a W.W. Smith Foundation Fellow and earned her MFA in 1986 from Syracuse University as a Graduate Fellow. Telfair is currently the Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where she has taught since 1989 and served as Academic Dean of the Arts and Humanities, in addition to receiving the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Paintings by Tula Telfair have been exhibited at galleries in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut and included in Museum exhibitions throughout the United States. Hers is a progressive art, a continuous exploration like each individual painting. The works might seem to contain the panoramic observations found in 19th Century American landscapes, depictions of awe-inspiring locales the artist has visited. In actuality, her worlds are invented vistas, fully contemporary in their inspiration and execution, and exceptional realizations of a conceptual world.
Tula Telfair has received many awards, including the Walter Gropius Master Artist award (2015), the Distinguished Honorary Artists Committee at MacDowell Colony (1998), the Marion Locks Award for Excellence in Painting (1984) and the Pennsylvania State Women Caucus Art Award (1980). Her work is included in many museum and public collections, including the Arkansas Museum of Art, Epoch Investment Partners, the Federal Reserve Bank, General Electric Corporation, the Hudson River Museum, NBC Universal, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and Omni Hotels. Solo exhibitions of Telfair’s paintings have been presented by the Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut (2010) and the Huntington Museum of Art, in West Virginia, traveling to Louisiana Art and Science Museum, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2015). Tula Telfair: From a Distance, January 19 – March 4, 2023 is the eighth solo exhibition for the Artist at Forum Gallery.
Tula Telfair lives and works in Connecticut and has been represented by Forum Gallery since 2004.