Tony Teal is a native Nashvillian. His grandfather, Frank Soper, grew up in East Nashville. Tony was born at the Vanderbilt Hospital and his childhood was spent on the East side with his family.
Tony's artistic abilities were recognized very early in his life. His mother watched him drawing cartoon characters from the newspaper and immediately enrolled him in art classes. By his senior year, he was well known for his abilities and his paintings were entered into a competition in New York City. Tony won a scholarship to Savannah School of Art and Design. However, because of his family's modest income, the limited nature of the scholarship, and his own doubts and fears, he didn't enroll.
Several years later, Tony enrolled in the Art Institute of Atlanta. Again the problem of finances and confidence arose and he returned to Tennessee. Even though he was unable to pursue his academic ambitions, he continued to paint--and occassionly attended workshops at Watkins School of Art and Design.
Finally, in 1999, Tony moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design. It was a transformative experience for both his personal life and artistic endeavors. While there he earned an Associates degree in Applied Science in General Studio.
Since his return to Nashville in 2001, Tony has had numerous shows in such places as The Parthenon, Sarratt Gallary at Vanderbilt University, DreamWorks, Dark Horse Theatre, and Historic Marathon Village. He has had numerous commissions, including four paintings for the well-known Husk Restaurant in Nashville. Tony lives in East Nashville with his partner, Jim of 22 years, and is represented by the Art & Invention Gallery.