a sociologist and professor of sociology. Art and education have always been a most important and supported part of the artist’s life. Her artistic propensity was discovered and encouraged from the beginning.
Clay's earliest memory of painting was at age three, and was the beginning of her education at the Child Development Lab of the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. Eighteen years later the artist earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting, with honors, from the University of Illinois, Champaign. That year Clay was awarded a three- year scholarship to the Graduate School of Stony Brook University from where she graduated with awards. Stony Brook University honored her by purchasing Clay's work for their permanent collection.
Tonya Clay began her professional career as manager of a gallery in the West Chelsea
Fine Arts Building in New York City. The artist educator has spent time living, learning, teaching and making art accross the United States, in Central and South America, and Eastern Europe.
Professor Clay teaches courses including two-dimensional design, foundation drawing, color theory, representational drawing, advanced level drawing, figure drawing, painting and figure painting, and survey in art history.
Tonya Clay is a prolific artist creating provocative, thought provoking, social/psycho-analytical art in diverse media. Her work is based on her unique experiences that are also universal, and involves examination of the condition of the human mind.
In 2011 the artist opened her own Gallery in Bradenton, Florida, Tonya Clay Fine Art. Clay exhibits her work internationally, and is currently based in the Sarasota/Bradenton,
Tonya Clay Fine Art