Tonya Gregg was born and raised in Darlington, South Carolina (USA).  She was selected to attend the Governor's School for the Arts Gifted and Talented program in Greenville, South Carolina and afterwards moved to Baltimore to study at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It was at MICA that Gregg began her career as a painter and became the first full-time art student to be featured in New American Paintings. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from MICA in 1997. Gregg worked at the Baltimore Museum of Art for a year before moving to Chicago to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Chicago from 1998 to 2000. She has worked in various art programs and taught college for several years before going back to school to earn a Master of Arts in Community Arts in 2007 from MICA.  Gregg has exhibited in the U.S., Germany, Nicaragua, England and Canada. Her solo exhibitions include Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina, Gallery 1448 in Baltimore, Maryland, the Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Texas and Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She has been an artist in residence at the Millay Colony in Austerlitz, New York, Red Gate in Beijing, China, the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada and the Wollmagazin in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Gregg continues to paint in series to explore paradoxical narratives about class, consumption, popular culture, colorism ancient mythology and a nexus of topics as they relate to black women and girls.

2018    Her Own Majesty, Goodall Gallery, Columbia College, SC
2017    GIRL.MOUNTAIN.SEA., Peachan Gallery, Christiansted, US Virgin Islands
            After Midnight In The Dynasty, The Southern Gallery, Charleston, SC
2016    A Good Read In The Dynasty, Curtis R. Harley Gallery, USC UPSTATE, Spartanburg, SC
2012    From Satchel To Handbag, Gallery 1448, Baltimore, MD
2010    Close Fitting, Red Bluff Gallery, Red Bluff, CA
2009    New Work, Creative Art Exchange, Charlotte, NC
2008    High Tea, Community Flat Space, London, United Kingdom
2006    Adventures in Ladyhood, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC
2005    Tonya Gregg: Exuberant Boom, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
2004    New Work, Lewis and Clark Gallery, Columbia, SC
2003    The Elusive Quest of Freedom, Lawndale Art Center, Mezzanine Gallery, Houston, TX
2001    Super Bodies of Leisure, Aiken Center for the Arts Gallery,  Aiken, SC
2000    Look Here World, USC Performing Arts Center Gallery, Beaufort, SC
            Things Fall Apart, Lorado Taft House Gallery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1998    Town and Country, Liriodendron Museum, Bel Air, MD
2017    Inestimable Impact: Educators As Artists, Knight Gallery, Spirit Square, Charlotte, NC
2015    Independent Spirits: Women Artists of South Carolina, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
           701 CCA South Carolina Biennial, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC
           Art Fields Art Festival, Joe's Barbershop, Lake City, SC
2014    New Faces, Upstairs Artspace, Tryon, NC
           Body & Soul, Weizenblatt Gallery,  Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, NC
           volumes 2: women bound by art, Curtis R. Harley Gallery, University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, SC
2013   Art Fields Art Festival, Joe's Barbershop, Lake City, SC
           Zoological Society, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC
2012   701 CCA Prize 2012 Exhibition, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC
           Columbia/Kaiserslautern: The International Mural Project, if Art Gallery at Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC
2011    In Search Of..., The Philosopher's Knoll Gallery, Banff, Alberta, Canada
           Critical Culture: Remembering Romare Bearden, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC             Rudimentary: A Post-Mastery Return to Fundamentals, University of Maryland, Adelphi, MD
2010   Small Works, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2009   Edgar Allan Poe: A Baltimore Icon, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
           Tener Valor II, Rosenberg Gallery, MICA, Baltimore, MD
           Tener Valor I, Casa De Cultura, Esteli, Nicaragua
2008   Red State Blues, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
2007   Artists In Community: A Personal Journey, Rosenberg Gallery, MICA, Baltimore, MD
           Acting Up/Acting Out: MICA Women Perform, Fox Bldg Galleries, MICA, Baltimore, MD
2006   Girl Stories, Dalton Gallery, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill, SC  
           Extension, Gallery 5, Rock Hill, SC
2004    Little Size, VolksBank, Kaiserslautern, Bundesland, Germany
           Mixed Perspectives, Ponder Gallery, Benedict College, Columbia, SC
2003   Uncharted Waters, Ponder Gallery, Benedict College, Columbia, SC
           Sisters on the Horizon- Emerging African American Women Artist, South Dallas Cultural Center, TX
2002   Changing Times Changing Views, Ponder Gallery, Benedict College, Columbia, SC
           Exhibit Travelled To: Lucy Craft Laney Museum, Augusta, GA,
           Sumter Opera House Museum, Sumter, SC        
           Burroughs & Chapin Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC
           Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
           Governor's School for the Arts Gallery, Greenville, SC
           Rotation, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC
           Lines Drawn, Tyrone Geter & Tonya Gregg, Goodall Gallery, Columbia College, Columbia, SC
           A Celebration of African American Art, Elder Art Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2001   Bound Together By Common Threads, Penn Center, York W. Bailey Museum, St. Helena Island, SC     
           Altered Hearts, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC
          Diversity, Ponder Gallery, Benedict College, Columbia, SC
          Fuse, Alta Vista, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC
          Feivre, Gallery 291, Greenville, SC
2000   Vista Lights, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC
           Big Ones, Little Ones and In Between Ones, Ponder Gallery, Benedict College, Columbia, SC
           COLOR: The Chicago Black Fine Art Expo, Hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
           Altercations, Gallery 312, Chicago, IL
1998   America Oh Yes, Washington Design Center, Washington, DC

2015   Millay Colony For The Arts, Austerlitz, NY
2013   Red Gate Residency, Beijing, China
2011   The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada
          701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC
           The Hambidge Center, Rabun Gap, GA
2010   Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2009   Art of Solidarity, Cultural Exchange Program, Esteli & Limay, Nicaragua
2007   Community  Arts, Village Learning Place, Baltimore, MD
2004   Wollmagazin Studio Exchange Program, Kaiserslautern, Bundesland, Germany
2003   Faculty Resource Network, Scholar In Residence, New York University, New York, NY

2015   Independent Spirits, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
          Sophomore Seminar II, Benedict College, Columbia, SC
2014   I Woke Up Like This, Seven Oaks Art League, Columbia, SC
2013   Artists Talks, Bei Gao Studios, Beijing, China
2012   701 CCA Prize 2012 Finalist Gallery Talk, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC
2011   Self-Directed Residency Artist Talk, The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada
           Social Equity, Art and Sustainability, Moderated by Kweisi Mfume, Central Enoch Pratt Library,
           Baltimore, MD (panelist)
2010   Poetics, Beth Cryor Gallery, Coppin State University, Baltimore, MD (panelist)
20x20 Series, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2009   A New Little Universe, Creative Art Exchange, Charlotte, NC
2008   Art In America, Stoke Newington Media Arts College, London, United Kingdom
2007   Finishing Strong, Moving On: Making the Most of Your Student's Junior and Senior Year, MICA,
           Baltimore, MD (panelist)
2005   Developing a Fine Artist Career, MICA, Baltimore, MD (panelist)
Diversity: Multiculturalism and Contemporary Art, MICA, Baltimore, MD (panelist)
Decoding Public and Private Identity, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
          Post MFA Works, Depaul University, Chicago, IL
          Beyond Now, Colloquium Series, Claflin College, Orangeburg, SC
          Exuberant Boom, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
2004   The Nature of African American Art, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC     
           Mixed Perspectives, Ponder Gallery, Benedict College, Columbia, SC  
           The Art of Kerry James Marshall, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
           Diversity in the Arts, Leadership Columbia Arts & Culture Day, Ed-venture Children's Museum, Columbia, SC
2003    The Elusive Quest of Freedom, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX        
2002    Hot Spots, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

2009    Esculpiendo Nuestra Historia: Limay, Casa De Culture Community Mural, Limay, Nicaragua
            David Alfaro Sequeiros Muralist Collective Mural, Leonel Rugama Cultural Center, Esteli, Nicaragua
            Augusto Sandino Mural Festival Banner, National Liberation Day: 1979 Revolution, Esteli, Nicaragua
1999    Historic Rosenwald School Mural, Penn Center, St. Helena Island, SC
1996    Hip-Hoppers Stage Mural, Historic Lexington Market, Baltimore, MD

2007    M.A.      Community Arts     Maryland Institute College of Art
2000    M.F.A .  Painting                 University of Chicago
1997     B.F.A.    Painting                 Maryland Institute College of Art

I have always been fascinated with glamour magazines, comic books, traditional African motifs and narrative historical paintings. These are the main sources of inspiration for my episodic paintings that comment on race, class, sexuality, and consumption among women of color. The personal and social narratives depict women navigating the shifting cultural influences and paradoxical worlds of contemporary life in their endeavor to embrace their own personhood. Broad themes that weave in and out of my work include women's ideals of beauty and various social perceptions of public versus private spaces, popular culture, ancient mythology and fantasy. 
   My canvases feature women dressed in carefully coordinated fashions lounging in alluring and iconic poses while presenting themselves in a manner that is hyper aware of the gaze of the world that is focused upon them. They are often surrounded by objects of desire that display their eclectic tastes and interests. These women are on a personal quest to find a balance in life between sensual pleasures and intellectual and spiritual pursuits. Wide-eyed cherub-like fairies with Afro hair float through the scenes seeking to capture the attention of the women and the viewer. They serve as celestial messengers, and at times, impish pests with an omniscient view of the women's situations as well as a pragmatic plan aimed at reinforcing the subject's authenticity. The cherubs' wisdom suggests finding a version of the good life that can both integrate and transcend the material trappings. The colors, shapes and patterns of these objects of desire unify the compositions while forwarding the narratives.      
   I paint on linen because of its symbolic and historical associations with Egyptian royalty attire, as well as its connection with Dutch masters' painting surfaces.  The muted warm gray of the linen surface allows the saturated colors of the women's bodies, fashions and accoutrements to express the vibrancy of their many-sided worlds. Ultimately, the elements are integrated and contrasted with one another to allow complex and often oppositional ideas about the characters and the environments they inhabit.

The Southern Gallery, Charleston, SC