Jack Gunter, born 1947, is a prominent Pacific Northwest writer, artist, and antique dealer specializing in twentieth century decorative arts.
With a degree in biology from Bowdoin College and graduate training in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire, he was teaching junior high school science in Massachusetts in 1974 when he wrote and illustrated his first book, “The Gunter Papers”, Avon Books, N.Y., which he describes as a futuristic junior high school science curriculum and guide to the fourth dimension. The counter culture science textbook received a glowing review from Stewart Brand, creator of “The Whole Earth Catalog.”
Searching for a more creative teaching environment, Jack ran the vocational education program in a little alternative school in central Massachusetts, where he started a student-run gas station and discovered that many of the students wanted to learn to paint. Not a painter, he taught art by the seat of his pants and discovered that he had a talent for painting.
A self taught artist using the ancient technique of egg tempera painting, he exhibited his large format works in several New England museums and was included in an Andrew Wyeth and Family show in the Sharon, N.H. Art Center in 1979. That year a studio fire claimed all of his existing paintings and landed him in Washington State with a pick up truck, his dog, and the clothes on his back.
He settled on an island in Puget Sound when he discovered that he was the only person in a thousand mile radius who wanted mission oak objects and the Northwest was chock full of Mr. Stickley’s furniture.
Since moving to Camano Island he has created over one thousand additional paintings, three movies as a SAG indie filmmaker, and six books — an illustrated guide to Northwest history narrated by a flying pig: “A Pictorial History of the Pacific Northwest Including the Future”, four novels in the Wally Winchester adventure series: “Original Finish”, “The Egg Rocker”, “Mother of God”, “Soft Focus”, and “Masterpiece Fever,” along with the science textbook published by Avon Books, NY, NY in 1974.
Jack, with the filmmaker, Jesse Collver, is creating a full length documentary about the 2013 journey into Siberia to rescue 17 of his original paintings, trapped in the basement of a Soviet art museum for 24 years by bureaucrats. “The Search for the Lost Paintings of Siberia” is expected to air in the fall of 2015.
He lives in a cliff-side cabin with views of the Olympic Mountains, eagles, and spouting whales out his front window while he works on new paintings, his film, and a memoir.