Sonya Terpening never made a great decision to become an artist; she always knew that is what she wanted to be. Though she received an art degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU), her advanced studies came from knowing and painting with such great American artists as Bettina Steinke, Donald Teague, and Lowell Ellsworth Smith.
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,” She is drawn to the American West not only as it exists today, but also its history. “There is something about the past that we all share that makes us better for remembering it.”
Terpening was a featured artist at the Gilcrease Museum’s 2006 Rendezvous. In 2008, she received the Autry Museum Award for Watercolor. In 2010 and 2013 she was the recipient of the Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist Award from the Doel Reed Center for the Arts at OSU. Articles about her art have been featured in Art of the West, Western Art Collector, and Southwest Art. Terpening’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma State Capitol, the Gilcrease Museum, the Edmon Low Library at OSU, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Museum of the American Railroad, and the Pearce Museum.