Ashton S. Phillips is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA, working directly with the earth, water, pollution, taboo, and repair as primary materials.  He is interested in the wisdom hidden within the material environment, including our physical bodies, and in the promise of queer ecological praxis, including interspecies collaboration, embodied “play,” and speculative (un)making, as pathways for making meaning, building resiliency, and generating new forms of knowing/feeling/being in the late Capitalocene.   

Ashton’s work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and artist-run spaces around the United States, including the Torrance Art Museum, SoLA Contemporary, Angles Gate Cultural Center, the Werby Gallery at Cal State Long Beach,

Nikki at Mehle Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana, North Willows artist-run space in Montclair, NJ, Keep Contemporary, form & concept gallery, and the Museum of Encaustic Art, in Santa Fe, NM, The New Mexico Cancer Center, Ghostwolf Gallery, Southwest College of Visual Art, and Santa Maria de Vid Abbey in Albuquerque, NM, and Art123 Gallery and the University of New Mexico, Gallup, in Gallup, New Mexico.  

Ashton’s public art commissions and participatory performances include Reflections, a 2020-21 participatory sound art installation in Glendale Central Park; breaking ground, a public performance and temporary land art installation among the landslide ruins of Sunken City on the coast of San Pedro, CA; and Helios Rising, a 170 x 7′ mural responding to the path of the sun in Albuquerque, NM.   

Ashton studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, anthropology and queer theory at the University of Maryland, where he served as the first trans president of the university’s LGBT student caucus, and interdisciplinary sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s MFA in Studio Art program, where he also taught undergraduate students in the interdisciplinary sculpture, fibers, and ceramics programs.

Ashton also holds a JD from George Washington University School of Law, where he developed a rigorous approach to material and documentary research, which continues to inform his curiosity-driven and research-based practice. During his time living on the Navajo Nation in Gallup, NM, Ashton also worked as a teaching artist at Gallup Family and Children’s Counseling, facilitating expressive and mindfulness-oriented art sessions for Native youth and young adults recovery from trauma.

Ashton is a current resident artist at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA.

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