Grapevine, Texas has been her home for over thirty years, Sonya Terpening
graduated high school and lived many years in Oklahoma. She feels that
living in Oklahoma and Texas is living with the fable of the west.
Both states are so rich in history and legend that as an artist she
cannot help but seek it out and try to share it with others.
Sonya never made a great decision to become an artist; she just
always knew that is what she wanted to be. Sonya studied with
professional artists from the time she was in junior high school.
She received an art degree at Oklahoma State University.
She continued to refine her work by studying with and knowing some of the
great American artists such as Richard Schmid, Bettina Steinke, Donald
Teague and Lowell Ellsworth Smith.
Sonya Terpening's art is about sharing the great and fascinating
world around her. "When something moves me, be it a story or a
scene, I want to express it in color and light so that the viewer can
share the feeling. There is nothing more beautiful than this great
land and the people living in it. I am drawn not only to the American
west as it exists today but also to its history. There is something
about the past that we all share that makes us better for remembering
it. I think art touches the soul and teaches in ways words cannot."
Sonya has been an
invited artist to the “Prix de West Invitational” at the National
Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for twenty seven years and to the
Masters of the American West at the Autry Museum for twelve years. In
2008 Sonya was awarded the Gold medal in Watercolor at the Masters
of the American West Show. She was a featured artist at the 2006
Rendezvous at the Gilcrease Museum. She is the 2014 recipient of the
National D.A.R. “Women in the Arts Recognition Award.”
she was the inaugural recipient of the “Smelser-Vallion Visiting
Artist for the Doel Reed Center for the Arts" award from Oklahoma
State University. She received the award a second time in
2013. In 2018, she was named Outstanding Alumni in the Arts by
OSU College of Arts and Sciences. In 2020, Sonya was selected
to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from OSU.
about Sonya's art have appeared in "Western Art Collector", "Art of
the West", Southwest Art" and "Persimmon Hill" magazines.
Sonya Terpening's paintings are in the permanent collection of:
The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City,
The Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Oklahoma
The Forbes Collection, New York, New York
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, Texas
Oklahoma State University, Edmon
Low Library, Stillwater, OK
State of Oklahoma - Capitol Building
Museum of the American Railroad, Frisco, TX
The Pearce Museum, Corsicana, Texas
Great Western Life, Denver, Colorado
Pawnee Historical Museum, Pawnee, Oklahoma