Tonya López-Craig studied studio art, photography and design at the University of Georgia, Athens, and California State University, Los Angeles, receiving honors and awards including Cum Laude, Phi Kappa Phi honors, Dean's List, Who's Among Students in American Universities, and ABI Woman of The Year, among others. Her emphasis during her studies was in sculpture and photography. She has exhibited in both media, and her artwork has been published on numerous book covers and featured in book entries by various national and international scholarly publishers Other scholarly work includes a book chapter entitled "Self-Orientalization and Multiculturalism as Tools for Self-Exploration in the Art of Shirin Neshat", published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2007) and reprinted by Gale Publishing in 2011, and another book chapter entitled "The Role of Carmelita Tropicana in the Performance Art of Alina Troyano", published by Harrington Park Press (2003) and reprinted by Gale Publishing in (2011). She has a wide range of teaching experience that includes sculpture, printmaking, design, art history, art writing and ESL. Tonya has been teaching studio art and design at UC Merced since 2008. She is currently the executive director to the UCM Art Gallery.