Ashleigh Sumner is an artist living and working out of the Arts District in Downtown, Los Angeles and Jingletown, Oakland. Sumner received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Carolina University before moving West to Los Angeles in 2003 and then north to Oakland in 2017.
Much of Sumner’s paintings are heavily inspired by industrial areas, inner city life, and political/social movements of the past and present. Sumner’s mixed media process often involves painting, collage, and a printmaking process that uses specially made over-sized silkscreens. Much of Sumner's subject matter includes the images of icons along with material used from found street flyers. These street flyers are Xeroxed and applied repeatedly to wooden canvases creating multiple stacked and torn layers of distressed, paper imagery. Her natural love of text is often implemented throughout her pieces by incorporating pages from books of poetry, verse, lyrics and theatrical plays. Selected pieces of literature within a piece are not only used to add layers and depth to a work but are often intended to make a subtle political or social statement involving class, gender, poverty and equality. The heavy use of spray paint or “graffiti rambling” is repeated over and over again, illegibly, often as a single song lyric, poem or historic quote. House paint is applied, scraped and splattered throughout the work and then partially sanded away with an industrial hand sander to achieve a distressed visual. Lastly, several heavy layers of resin are added to each piece and then flamed with a blow torch to create a perfectly smooth, modern finish to the gritty artwork underneath.
In her latest body of work, Sumner has been focusing on the concept of handwriting as a lost art form. In her solo exhibition, "Written All Over Your Face," (Zener Schon Contemporary) Sumner silkscreened into her paintings the handwritten letters, song lyrics and speeches of some of America's greatest icons. The use of handwriting is a signature detail found throughout Sumner's most recent pieces.
Sumner is represented by Art Angels Gallery in West Hollywood and Miami, Fl. Sumner also has ongoing representation with Artplex Gallery in Los Angeles and Detour Gallery in Red Bank, NJ. In addition, she has exhibited with the Evan Lurie Gallery (Carmel, IN).
Internationally, Sumner’s work has been exhibited with the Victor Saavedra Gallery in Barcelona, Spain, Mark Jason Gallery & TAG Fine Arts of London and Cobra Art of Amsterdam.
In 2014, Sumner was named by a juried panel the winner of the Red Bull Curates Competition for Los Angeles. As a result, Sumner was highlighted in a special exhibition with SCOPE, Miami at the Miami Basel that year.
In addition, Sumner proudly curated in “Street Preachers: An Exhibition of Los Angeles Female Street Artists at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock in east L.A. “Street Preachers” was awarded grants from both the Pasadena Art Alliance and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The exhibition included the talents of street artists Annie Preece, Jules Muck, Sarah’s Incognito and Kym CBS.
Sumner’s work can be found in private collections internationally.
Partial List of Collectors Include:
Bryant Gumbel - Television Journalist
Eric Goodwin - NBA agent, Goodwin Sports Management
Richard "Rip" Hamilton - Former professional athlete, NBA
Hannah & Derek Jeter - Super model and former professional athlete, MLB
Lynda Resnick - Owner, Fiji Water and Pom Juice
Tomas Jegeus - Vice President Fox Studios
Laura Kimpton - Artist
Gay Rosenthal - Producer - VH1's Behind the Music
Gary and Julie Kashare - Owners, O'neil Motorsports
Vivica A. Fox - Actress, entrepreneur
Robin Weigert - Actress
Lindsey Berg - Professional athlete, four-time Olympian and captain of U.S. women's indoor volleyball
Carol Lui - California State Senator
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