Philip Sugden studied painting in Paris under French painter, Arnaud D'Hauterives (winner Grand Prix de Rome). Since graduation from the New York School of Visual Arts and the Paris American Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris, Sugden has made twelve journeys throughout the Himalaya and Tibet, including the Kingdom of Mustang and Ladakh. In May, 2007, he and writer, Carole Elchert were married by Lama Nawang Tenzin at Tengboche Monastery near Mt. Everest.
In 1990, the two were awarded grants from the Ohio Joint Projects in the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, to create a Public Television presentation and companion book based on their 1988 Cultural Arts Expedition to the Himalaya and Tibet. As guests of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile, they spent six-months in Tibetan communities throughout India, Nepal, Ladakh, and Tibet, gathering images and recordings for the production entitled, White Lotus, An Introduction to Tibetan Culture,
(companion book published by Snow Lion 1991). During that trip Sugden completed 165 ink drawings on location some of which were used in the book.
In 1991, Sugden and Elchert organized the Dalai Lama's two-day visit to their home in Findlay, Ohio, with a speaking engagement at The University of Findlay, where both were faculty at the time. While visiting Sugden’s studio, the Dalai Lama accepted one Philip’s drawings for his private collection.
As the guest curator at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City, Sugden organized a six-month series of exhibitions, opening with a solo show of Tibetan Locks and Keys
, silk-screens by Robert Rauschenberg, celebrating the 1991 International Year of Tibet. In the summer of 1998 he was invited to mount a solo exhibition at the Denis Bibro Gallery in New York City, sponsored by Artists for Tibet
as part of "Art Against Chinese Human Right Abuses."
His drawings have been published in an exquisite, full-color exhibition catalog entitled, Visions from the Fields of Merit; Drawings of Tibet and the Himalayas.
The book includes a Forward written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Daniel Entin, Executive Director of the Roerich Museum, NYC.
Sugden’s work has been exhibited in more than 90 solo and 130 group shows internationally including galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Washington DC, Melbourne, and Kathmandu. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Bluffton University.