Tama Dumlao, born and raised in the midwest, couldn’t imagine life without art and nature. Her father was a self-employed artist who had moved his family to a beautiful rural country home. Although there were a few detours in Tama’s early pursuits, she managed to receive a BA in painting with a minor in printmaking from San Diego State University, CA . While continuing to paint (primarily abstract in oils) she became a teaching/artist with at risk youth in the South Bay area of San Diego. Her work with these children compelled her to get a Masters in Expressive Art Therapy from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn). After getting her degree she worked part time as an artist-in-residence/creative arts specialist with troubled teens. During this time she began collaborating with a group of six women colleagues/ artists who did a variety of exhibitions centered on the number seven (i.e. Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Ancient Wonders: A Contemporary Interpretation) at various museums and public sites in San Diego.
For a season these projects pushed Tama to go beyond painting into more installation work, which led to a variety of collaborative public art projects in San Diego and around the country: Shedding the Cloak sculpture and Mercy Chapel Prayer wall, both in San Diego, 24 mosaic panels in Draper Utah, two large mosaic panels for St. Joseph Hospital in Michigan and 4 mosaic disks in Escondido, CA.
No matter what the project, painting is her primary medium whether landscapes or abstracts. After many years of working, due to an unexpected eye condition, Tama had to retire as she could not drive. However difficult this phase of her life was she completed a series of paintings called, “Memoirs of a Dying Tree”. Soon after this series was completed and based on a recommendation from a friend she and her husband moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2015. That move proved to be a whole new chapter in her life.