Campus Community

Michael Tole


Michael Tole is an artist and professor who, resides in Arizona.  He is a professor of fine art at Benedictine University Mesa, and is the program director of Ben U’s studio art and graphic design programs.  Prior to 2013, Tole taught drawing and painting at the University of North Texas.

For almost two decades, Tole has exhibited his art professionally in Dallas, San Francisco, New York, and at numerous art fairs.  Tole’s work has evolved from photorealistic paintings of retail interiors to his current work, which explores human interactions through highly realistic figurative paintings.  His work has been reviewed in publications such as Art Forum International, The Dallas Morning News, and the San Francisco Chronicle.  His awards include the $50,000 Hunting Art Prize, and the Kimbrough Grant from the Dallas Museum of Art.

Tole has been an educator for fifteen years.  His approach to art education is based on rigorous technical training and conceptual exploration that enables his students to competently communicate their ideas in a visual format.  Tole believes in a hands-on approach to teaching, relying heavily on demonstration and personal interaction to help his students to build their technical skills.  He pairs this with discussions, and guided, but student directed artistic exploration and research that deepens his student’s knowledge of contemporary and historical art and also forms the basis for their personal artistic growth.  His areas of educational expertise are drawing, painting, printmaking, digital photography, digital art, and ceramics.



Assistant Professor of Fine Art and Program Director of Studio Art and Graphic Design, Benedictine University at Mesa, Mesa, AZ


Adjunct Professor of Studio Art, University of North Texas, Denton, TX


2011 MFA, Painting and Drawing, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
2000 BFA, Studio Art, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX


2010 London International Creative Competition; Shortlist; London, UK
2008 London International Creative Competition; Shortlist; London, UK
2007 Hunting Art Prize, $50,000 Cash Award, Hunting Ltd. Houston, TX
2006 Kimbrough Grant, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX


2013 It Was the Body Which Despaired of the Body; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
2011 Blessed With all the Thunder in the World; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
2010-2011 Struck by Lightning More Than Once, She Didn't Yield; Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX
2009 The Poniard Twists…My Mutiny; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
2009 What World Behind Those Ruby Eyes; Caine Schulte Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2007 Some Queer Noisy Pendulum; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
2004 I Think I Prayed For You To Come, But Wasn’t Prepared For The Reality; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
2002 Conduit Gallery Project Room, Dallas, TX


2016 Benedictine University Faculty Show, Lisle, IL
2015 Schism, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
2014 Benedictine University System Faculty Show, Lisle, IL
2012 University of North Texas Faculty Show, Denton, TX
2012 The Medium is the Message, UT Arlington Gallery, Arlington, TX
2011 Dallas Art Fair, Dallas, TX
2010 Next Chicago, Chicago, IL
2010 Inaugural Group Show, Caine Schulte, CA
2009 Dallas Art Fair, Dallas, TX
2008 The Art of Describing, Gallery 10G, NYC
2008 Aqua Wynnwood, Miami, FL
2007 Red Dot, Miami, FL
2002 Stephen F Austin State University, Nacodoches, TX
2001 500 X Gallery, Dallas, TX


Granberry, Michael, Art Notes, page 4E, Sunday, March 27, 2011
Artists and Galleries, Galveston Monthly, January 2011
Wiley, Rachel, Galveston Arts Center in Exile 2, page 19, November 2010
London International Creative Competition Annual Catalogue, January 2010
Carter, Steve. Unrealistically Speaking, Dallas Modern Luxury, page 56, November 2009
Baker, Kenneth. Photo-realism at Caine Schulte, San Francisco Chronicle, page E2, January 2009
London International Creative Competition Annual Catalogue, January 2008
Odom, Michael. Michael Tole at Conduit Gallery, ARTFORUM, page 476, September 2007
Daniel, Michael. Guide Live, Dallas Morning News, Guide page 20, May 25, 2007
Gaile, Robinson. The Creative Life, Fort Worth Star Telegram, May 13, 2007
Michael, Granberry. Irving painter wins $50,000 prize, Guide Live, Dallas Morning News, page 2, May 2, 2007
Tellez, Leslie. Five to Watch: Artists on the Verge, Dallas Morning News, May 30, 2007
Anspon, Catherine. Good Will Hunting, Paper City Magazine, page 6, July 2007
Mitchell, Charles Dee. Michael Tole at Conduit Gallery, Dallas Morning News, June 2007
Patricia, Johnson. Irving artist wins prestigious award, Houston Chronicle, April 30, 2007
Terranova, Charissa. Paintings by Michael Tole, Dallas Observer, September 30, 2004
Painting the Town, D Magazine, page 30, September 2002


Dallas Country Club, Highland Park, TX

Ted Pillsbury, Dallas, TX

Stanley Light, Dallas, TX

Sam and Catherine Basharkhah, Dallas, TX

John and Muffin Lemak, Dallas, TX

Carter Tolleson, Dallas, Tx

John Reoch, Dallas, TX

Ted Kincaid and Steve Atkinson, Dallas, TX

Cord Martin and Thom Armistead, West Columbia, TX

Jeff Estes, Dallas, TX

Helen and Charles Nixon, Dallas, TX

Mark and Barbara Ashworth, Dallas, TX


2011  Guest Lecturer, AP Strategies, Dallas, TX
2009  Guest Lecturer, Dallas Arts Magnet, Dallas, TX
2008  Guest Lecturer, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Tas
2007  Guest Lecturer, Kimball Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas
2007  Guest Lecturer, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas


2013  Guest Juror for IN FLUX:
2014 Juror for Masters of Tomorrow Exhibition
2011  Guest Juror for AP Strategies Scholarship Competition

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