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A Studio Visit with Artist Peter Tunney


“It takes nine years to put together the canoe trip for your friends in New York,” says Peter Tunney, reclined on a couch in his art studio underneath one of his mounted word collages. “Nine years. You start out when you meet them — ‘oh my gosh, its’ so nice to see you guys, oh my gosh, let’s go on a canoe trip next weekend! It usually happens in about nine years. It takes a long time to put that together,” he continues. “You really have to make time for those things. You’re not going to be given that time, you have to steal that time.”


The 57-year-old artist is a living example of this philosophy. Tunney, freewheeling and energetic, also runs a gallery in the Wynwood Walls neighborhood of Miami (he was one of the now-bustling area’s first tenants, and he also partnered with Jessica Goldman Srebnick in 2015 for the Goldman Global Arts project), and has approached time as art throughout his 30-year artistic career. He’s full-steam ahead, all of the time. Tunney works with a lean staff from his space on Leonard Street, where he has three floors — a gallery on the street level with a studio downstairs and an archive downstairs from that. On a recent afternoon, a couple from Cleveland had wandered in and walked out the owners of a new piece of artwork.