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Tangled Joy, 2003, oil on canvas, 42” x 42”

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  "Whether or not he is a people person, Vonn Sumner is a people painter. Although he often depicts spaces and buildings, Sumner has established a reputation as a figure painter of uncommon wit and sensitivity.... The people Sumner picks are certainly uncommon; they may be ordinary enough overall, in dress or in mien or in comport, but there’s always something about how they look that indicates that their behavior is out there a tad. Is Sumner looking for madness? ... Interestingly, we don’t get the feeling that Sumner has imposed that dash of lunacy on his subjects, but has found them in such full-blown states of dignified, low-key abandon. They own their eccentricities, even when it’s clear that Sumner has choreographed several of them into curious, open-ended pantomimes. That open-endedness allows us to own those eccentricities, too, to identify with Sumner’s subjects rather than just watch them enact their elaborated images. They are definitely performing, but they are revealing rather than disguising themselves in the process...."

~Peter Frank, L.A. based arts writer and curator, in an excerpt from an essay for the catalogue for the Riverside Art Museum exhibition "Vonn Sumner: The Other Side of Here." 

American, b. Palo Alto, CA, 1976





2000    Master of Fine Arts, University of California, Davis

1998    Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Davis




2012    This Makes Sense, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2011    Stages, The Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College, PA

            Late Empire Style, Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

2010    Paintings, Paul Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2008    The Other Side of Here, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA  

2007    Secret Society, Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA

            Arrival, 50 California St.(Bank of America), San Francisco, CA

1998    Paintings, Northern California Center for the Arts,Grass Valley, CA

            Still Life, Tahoe Tallac Association, South Lake Tahoe, CA 



2012    Big Names, Small Art, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

            Works with Paper, Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

            War Paint, Brett Rubbico Gallery, Newport Beach, CA

2011    Big Names, Small Art, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

            Art Chicago, (Paul Thiebuad Gallery), Chicago, IL

            Realm of Realism, L.A. Mart (in conjunction with Art Platform LA) Los Angeles, CA 

            Chain Letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2010    Thanks for Being With Us: Contemporary Art from the Douglas Neilsen Collection,

            Tucson Art Museum, Tucson, AZ

            Small Works on Paper, Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

            San Francisco Fine Arts Fair, (Paul Thiebaud Gallery), San Francisco, CA

            I Dream Awake, Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

            Art Chicago, (Paul Thiebaud Gallery), Chicago, IL

2009    Fresh,  auction for the Museum of Contemporary Art,Los Angeles, CA

            Self-Portraits in the Age of My-Face-Space-Book, I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008    Twenty-Five Treasures, Paul Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            Modern Day Characters,  J. Flynn Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA

            Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA.

            Faculty Show, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA

2007    Bridge Art Fair, London, UK

            Then/Now, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA

            Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA

            Oceana, Exhibition/Auction to benefit Oceana Society, San Francisco, CA

2006    Introductions, Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, CA

            Portraits, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA

            Figure/Form, Coastline College, Costa Mesa, CA

            The Peaceable Kingdom, Kortman Center for Design, Rockford, IL

            Summer Survey, Lawrence Asher Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

            Faculty Exhibition, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA

            Fountain Art Fair, Miami, FL

            Art International Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA

2005    Incognito, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CA

            !All California!, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

            Venice to Venice, V & A Gallery, Venice, Italy

            -Scope Hamptons, Southhampton, NY

            Pharmaka: Inside the Box, Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles

            Pharmaka: Outside the Box, Pharmaka, Los Angeles, CA

            (LA Weekly pick of the week)

2004    The OsCene, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

            Dualities, Lewallen Contemporary, Sante Fe, NM

            Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA

            Faculty Exhibition, Cypress College Gallery, Cypress, CA

            Artposition 04, Murten-Morat, Switzerland

            IGNITE! (Gen Art), Los Angeles, CA 

            -Scope Los Angeles, The Standard, Hollywood, CA

            Form, Fragments and Folly, Seven Degrees, Laguna Beach, CA

            Pharmaka, (three concurrent exhibitions) Bedlam Art/

            Corridor Gallery/ Bedlam Warehouse, Los Angeles, CA

2003    -Scope Miami, Miami Beach, FL  

            Art 21, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

            -Scope Los Angeles, The Standard, Los Angeles, CA

            First Annual Invitational, Square Blue Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA

            Brush, The Office, Huntington Beach, CA

            Valentine’s Exhibition, Nelson Gallery, U.C. Davis

2002    Texas Artist's Museum, Port Arthur, TX

            An American Experience, Associated Artists, Winston-Salem NC

2000    M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Nelson Gallery, U.C. Davis

            Blind Date, Worth-Ryder Gallery, University of California, Berkeley, CA

1999    Miniatures, Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA

            Blind Date, Manchester Metropolitan University, England, UK

1998    Crocker-Kingsley Exhibition, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA





2012    The Washington Post, Taking Art Beyond the Frame, September 28, Style Section C8

            Poets And Artists Magazine, Vonn Sumner: The Complexities of Simplicity, p.15-19

            Hi Fructose, The Art of Vonn Sumner, July, 2012

            Juxtapoz, Preview: Vonn Sumner/This Makes Sense, August, 2012

            The Huffington Post, Vonn Sumner: This Makes Sense, August 6, 2012

            Artweek LA, Vonn Sumner: This Makes Sense, August 2012

            Cartwheel Art, The New Traditionalists, August 13, 2012

            ArtScene, War Paint: Vonn Sumner & John Scane, November issue, Vol.32, No.3, p.28

2010    Tucson Weekly, An Art Less Ephemeral, September 2-8 2010, p. 29

            Thanks for Being With Us, (Exhibition Catalog), Tucson Museum of Art

            The Washington Post, Friday, April 2, p. 19

2008    Inland Empire Weekly, Beam Me Backward, Scotty, Volume 3, Issue 29, p.13

            Vonn Sumner: The Other Side of Here, Exhibition Catalogue, Riverside Art Museum

            Twenty-Five Treasures, Exhibition Catalogue, Paul Thiebaud Gallery

            Riviera magazine, April Issue, Modern Day Characters, p. 42

2007    Art Ltd., Artist Profile, March issue, p. 72

2006    Quickfiction, Cover Image (and statement inside), Issue 9

            Trendsetter magazine, Artist Profile and Interview, n.46, Volume 4, p. 54-57

            Blade Magazine, March 2006, p. 24

2005    LA Weekly, Pick of the Week review and image, April 22-28, p.56

            Lifescapes magazine, June/July Issue, p. 11-13

2004    BOOM magazine, Cover Image and story inside, Issue 7, Spring, cover and p.17-18

            ISM, Volume 1, Spring

2003    NY Arts Magazine, Vonn Sumner, November/December, Volume 8, Number 11, p.57

2002    New American Paintings, # 43, Pacific Coast Edition

2002    Winston-Salem Journal, American Experience, Sunday, November 10, p. F4



2010            Gamblin Oil Color Torrit Grey Competition First Prize

2003            Curator’s Choice Award, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

2002            American Experience Show Award, Hanes Art Gallery/

                    Wake Forest Univeristy, Winston-Salem, NC

1999-2000   U.C. Davis Graduate Study Fellowship

1998            Purchase Award, Buehler Alumni Center, U.C. Davis

1997            John and Terry Kubota Scholarship, U.C. Davis



Branner Hall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

University Circle, East Palo Alto, CA

Stanford Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, CA

Shields Main Library Collection, University of California, Davis

University of California, Davis Buehler Alumni Center      






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