Jerry Kunkel received an MFA degree in painting from Southern Illinois University in 1968 and began teaching at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1969. He was Chair of the Department of Art and Art History (UCB) from 1978 –1993 and Interim Director of the Film Studies Program from 1993-95, retiring as emeritus professor of Fine Arts in 2006.
He maintains an active studio practice and is represented by Robischon Gallery in Denver and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City.
He was awarded a solo exhibition at the Denver Art Museum and shows regularly at Robischon Gallery. He was commissioned to produce two temporary billboards in KC atop the Missouri Bank Crossroads Branch. Other exhibitions of note (group and solo) include Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, the Denver Biennial of the Americas, Andrea Swhwartz Gallery (S.F.), Mizel Center of the Arts and Humanities, the Joslyn Museum, a number of times at the Denver Art Museum, Sebastian-Moore Gallery in Denver, Ginny Williams Photography (Denver), Martha Jackson Gallery (NYC), Diverse Works (Houston), Alternative Museum (NYC), Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Yellowstone Art Center, Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, National Collection of Fine Arts (Washington D.C.), San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, Seattle Art Museum, Sweeney Center in Santa Fe, St. Charles on Wazee Gallery in Denver, Gargoyle Gallery in Aspen, Chicago Art Institute, Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, Akron Art Institute, Rochester Art Museum, Indianapolis Art Museum, Suzanne Saxe Gallery (Denver), Whitney Museum of American Art, Everson Museum, Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Comara Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as numerous university galleries and museums around the country. His work is in the collection of the Denver Art Museum as well as many other public and private collections. Four exhibition catalogues and dozens of reviews of his work have been published.