Susan Sommer-Luarca grew up on a ranch in southwest Missouri. A self-taught artist, she was drawing and painting the many horses on the farm with great attention to detail at a very young age. Susan has now been painting fine works of art for more than thirty years, capturing humankind, wildlife, all things equine, and the world around us.
Sommer-Luarca was chosen for the very rare and distinguished honor to be an Official Olympic Artist for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She was honored again as Official USA Olympic Artist for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and United States Equestrian Team Artist for 2016 RIO Olympic Games. Being chosen to be an "Official Olympic Artist," this artist follows in the footsteps of other internationally known artist including Andy Warhol, Leroy Neiman, Peter Max, Michael Delacroix, Pierre Matisse and very few other artists who have had this honor.
Sommer-Luarca has been chosen to paint at all three Triple Crown horse races, including the Breeders Cup World Championships and the Travers at the famed and historic Saratoga race track in New York. Susan was invited to paint at Super Bowl XLII in 2008 by the NFL. In addition, NASA invited her to paint LIVE to commemorate the last space shuttle launch of Discovery, at Cape Canaveral, She is the only artist in history to have this honor. Sommer-Luarca also joins the late Thomas Kincaid as the only two artists in history to be invited to paint the famed Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree LIVE in New York City. In 2003, Susan was commissioned to create Official Paintings for the P.G.A. Nationwide Tour. She was the first woman chosen for this distinguished honor.
Susan received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York City May 7, 2011. Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include seven Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity. They are awarded annually to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life, who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country.
Sommer- Luarca's work has been seen and aired by many of the national media outlets including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, New York Times, LA Times, LIFE and People Magazine just to name a few. Susan and Sheryl Crow performed LIVE together on stage during a special performance in 2013.
Having served as a board member, national spokesperson, Sommer-Luarca also helps raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. In addition, her tremendous efforts benefit the largest fund raising event for the American Cancer Society. Susan and her husband have lost several family members and friends to cancer, including their parents, so this cause is also very near to her heart.