Following a short career as an Aeronautical Engineer, Jon Peterson earned an MFA in painting from Otis Art Institute in 1976. Over the next decade, he had four solo exhibitions at Newspace Gallery and one at Protech-McIntosh Gallery.  In 1980 he received a National Endowment grant for his body of work titled “Bum Shelter,” a series of installations in New York City, Washington DC, Houston, Texas, Santa Barbara, CA, and Los Angeles.

He has served on several boards of Los Angeles art organizations, including Inner City Arts, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), LARABA (Los Angeles River Arts and Business Association) and  and was the President and founding member of Downtown Arts Development Association (DADA).

Since 2005, he has been concentrating on painting, and has had several shows of his new work at LA Artcore Gallery Gallery, Long Beach City College, and Andlab Gallery, Los Angeles. Peterson lives and works in Pasadena, California. 

Peterson is now represented by Rosamund Felsen Gallery.