Mikel Dunham is an author, artist, photojournalist. and Himalayan historian. In the 1980s, Dunham worked in New York City where he created three-dimensional constructions of wood, glass, mirror, photographs and acrylic media. The Alexander F. Milliken Gallery, Inc. represented his work. mounting numerous solo exhibitions in Soho, as well as group installations in the US and abroad.
The late 80s Dunham became the last student of the late thangka master, Pema Wangyal of Dolpo. He spent the next four years learning how to mix mineral pigments, line-brush in 22-carat gold and paint Tibetan iconography. This led to Dunham’s commission to paint the murals for a Tibetan monastery in Sarnath, India—one of eight major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Dunham then became artistic director for a much larger Tibetan mural project—a three-year commitment—in upstate New York at Pema Samye Ling Monastery.