Though Sonya Terpening lived many years in Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University (OSU), the town of Grapevine, Texas, has been her home for 32 years. She feels that living in either Oklahoma or Texas is living with the fable of the West; both states are so rich in history that, as an artist, Terpening says she cannot help but seek it out and try to share it with others.
Terpening studied with professional artists since the time she was in junior high school. After receiving an art degree at OSU, her advanced studies came from knowing and painting with such great American artists as Bettina Steinke, Donald Teague and Lowell Ellsworth Smith.
Terpening has been a Prix de West participating artist for 28 years and has participated in the Autry Museum’s Masters of the American West for 12 years. She was selected as NBC Oklahoma’s Oklahoma Artist for 2017 and was selected to the California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition in 2019 and 2020. She received a Distinguished Alumni award from OSU in 2020, and in both 2010 and 2013 she was the recipient of the Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist Award from OSU’s Doel Reed Center for the Arts. A featured artist at the 2006 Gilcrease Museum Rendezvous, Terpening has been featured in Art of the West, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art and Persimmon Hill magazines.