Bio & Statement
Ashleigh Sumner (b.1979) is an urban contemporary artist living and working out of downtown, Los Angeles and East Oakland, CA. Sumner received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Art from Western Carolina University before moving west to Los Angeles in 2003 and then north to Oakland, California in 2017.
Sumner’s early artistic career was firmly rooted in theatre arts with professional credits in stage, independent queer film and network television. Her years of experience as a performer provided a natural evolution of translating elements of text into the visual medium of painting. Sumner’s inclination toward the spoken word serves as a cornerstone to her practice. She has sought to interweave quotes, poems, rap lyrics, samples of handwriting, and pages from theatrical plays with subject matter reflective of urban West Coast culture. In addition, the selected fragments of literature within a work are often intended to make a subtle political or social statement involving class, gender, and celebrity.
Sumner begins each piece with the impromptu layering of found street flyers to simulate the visual texture and language found on the weathered walls of the inner city communities in which she lives. She employs a diverse spectrum of media in her work by incorporating paint, graffiti, collage along with printmaking techniques that include image transfer and silk screening. Each piece is distressed by removing layers of paint with an industrial palm sander. Lastly, resin is applied to each painting and then flamed with a blow torch to create a perfectly smooth finished to the art work underneath.
Sumner proudly curated "Street Preachers" an exhibition of selected female street artists of Los Angeles. The exhibition was mounted in collaboration with the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock with awarded grants from the Los Angeles Arts Commission and the Pasadena Art Alliance.
Awards include the juried panel winner of the Red Bull Curates Competition for Los Angeles. As a result, her work was highlighted in a special exhibition with SCOPE, Miami that year.
Internationally, Sumner’s work has been exhibited with the Victor Saavedra Gallery in Barcelona, Spain, along with ongoing representation with TAG Fine Arts of London. In the U.S. Sumner is represented by Art Angels Gallery of Los Angeles and Miami, Art Plex Gallery Los Angeles, Julie Zener Gallery, Detour Gallery in Red Bank, NJ and Evan Lurie Gallery Carmel IN and Baco Raton, FL.
Partial Collectors List:
Bryant Gumbel - television journalist, New York, NY
Richard "Rip" Hamilton - former professional athlete, NBA - Miami, Fl
Hannah & Derek Jeter - entertainer and professional athlete, MLB - Florida
Lynda Resnick - owner, Fiji Water and Pom Juice - Los Angeles, CA
Tomas Jegeus - Vice President Fox Studios - Los Angeles, CA
Eric Goodwin - NBA Agent, Goodwin Sports Management - Seattle, WA
Laura Kimpton - artist - San Francisco, CA
Gay Rosenthal - producer - Los Angeles, CA
Vivica A. Fox - actress, entrepreneur - Los Angeles, CA
Robin Weigert - actress - Los Angeles, CA
Lindsey Berg - professional athlete, olympian and captain of U.S. women's indoor volleyball - Los Angeles, CA