Ashton S. Phillips is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. He was born near the sea in Boston, MA, but grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, aka “Chemical Valley.” Some of his earliest memories include watching the nightly progression of the sky from black to pink, as the air above filled with pollution from nearby chemical factories.
Ashton studied improvisational music and performance, as a young adult. In college, he focused on anthropology, political economy, and social justice. After the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued its opinion legalizing gay marriage, he decided to go to law school, hoping to contribute to the good fight through litigation. He practiced law as a civil prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Labor, focusing on workplace health and safety enforcement, before transitioning to a full-time art practice in 2016.
Ashton’s creative work has been featured in more than 40 exhibitions around the country, including recently, Rewilding Structures at the Torrance Art Museum, SoundPedro 2020 at Angels Gate Cultural Center, Out There, West Hollywood’s annual LGBT Pride show at Gallery 825, and Art + Activism at SoLA Contemporary. His site-specific and public art installations, include Reflections, a recent participatory sound and land art installation commissioned by the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission at Glendale Central Park in Glendale, CA, and Helios Rising at Positive Energy Solar in Albuquerque, NM. Ashton’s work is held in the permanent collection at the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe, NM, (“Mysterium”) and the Santa Maria de Vid Norbertine Abbey in Albuquerque, NM, (“Our Lady of the Well”) and in private collections across the United States. Ashton’s work has also been featured in the Santa Fe Reporter (“Mysterium”), Albuquerque – The Magazine (“Helios Rising”), the Gallup Independent (“Exposure” show), Asymmetric Magazine (“Dark Magic” Series), and Art and Cake (“Living under Pandemic”).
Ashton is an MFA candidate in the Maryland Institute College of Art’s low-residency MFA in Studio Art program.