Essie Somma is a Portland based painter originally from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Her work weaves dry humor with social conscious.  Combining advertisements, newspaper clippings, film stills, and language she creates small scale collages that inform larger surreal paintings.  Somma explores the human condition through these collage based paintings called Daydreams.  The work encourages the audience to view familiar or relatable imagery through an abstracted lens.  From femininity to consumer culture, political economics to addiction, her paintings ride the line of rationality in the same way our world often does. 

 

She received her high school diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a concentration in visual arts.  Then went on to receive a Bachelors degree in Painting from the University of California Santa Barbara.  While attending college she completed the Art Marketing and Business program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.  Since 2013 she has been featured in 15 shows across four states, including Stars and Candy Wrappers, an installation piece and outdoor mural completed under Stephen Westfall.  Somma is currently a member of the Elisabeth Jones Art Center Artist CoLAB in Portland, Oregon, which creates bodies of work engaging with social justice and ecology.  

Part I: the Era of Seclusion // Juried Group Exhibition // Visionary Projects // Online // 2020

Man's Relationship with the Wild // Collaborative show // Elisabeth Jones Art Center // Portland, OR // 2019

Neighborhood Associations Rock // Collaborative Show // Elisabeth Jones Art Center // Portland, OR // 2019

No Place Like Home // Group Show // Elisabeth Jones Art Center // Portland, OR // 2018

Encyclical: Honoring Humanity’s Sacred Relationship with the Earth // Collaborative Show // Elisabeth Jones Art Center // Portland, OR //2018

UCSB Undergraduate Exhibition // Art, Design, and Architecture Museum // Santa Barbara, CA // 2018

 

BARELY GONE // Group Show // Santa Barbara, CA // 2018

Jones // Solo show // Santa Barbara, CA // 2016

UCSB Undergraduate Exhibition // Art, Design, and Architecture Museum // Santa Barbara, CA // 2015

 

Cheadle Hall Exhibition // UC Santa Barabara // Santa Barbara, CA // 2015

UNCSA  Exhibition // Winston Salem, NC // 2013 – 2014

During my time at UNCSA I  designed, hung, and participated in over 10 shows on the University’s campus.

Live Painting // B. Austin Clarke Gallery // Mayberry, NC // 2013

Elisabeth Jones Art Center // Portland, Oregon

Saatchi Art 

Pinky's PDX // Portland, Oregon

 

 

Contributing  Artist // International Mural x Mail Project // 2020 - Present

Editor and Guest Reporter // League of Women Voters PDX Newsletter // 2018 - 2019

URCA (Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities) Grant // one year self guided research grant // 2017 -2018

Gallery Associate // Elisabeth Jones Art Center // 2020 — present

Contract painter // Elisabeth Jones Art Center // 2018 — present

Studio Assistant // Tom Pazderka UCSB artist in residence // 2017

Exhibition Design Intern // Art, Design, and Architecture Museum (Santa Barbara)  // 2015— 2016

Assistant Painter to Stephen Westfall // Stars and Candy Wrappers (Art, Design, and Architecture Museum) // 2015

Kenan Fellowship // Penland School of Craft  // 2015

University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston Salem, North Carolina — High school diploma with an emphasis in visual arts, 2013–2014

Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, United Kingdom — completion of the Art Marketing and Business semester certification,  2016

University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California —Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art with Honors, 2014–2018 

Exhibitions

Professional

Experience

Education

Projects

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Representation

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