I have an interdisciplinary practice that includes video, assemblage, painting, design and object making, installation, and podcasting. In the studio, there's work ongoing in several media. There is evidence of "women's work" everywhere as I’m often cutting, pasting, sewing, or embellishing, but also, it’s full of tools for sawing, drilling, hammering, sanding, and polishing. I’m inspired by the actual labor of “making” and I’m dedicated to allowing myself the uninhibited intellectual flexibility to go off in new directions at any moment.
Early cultural influences stretch from Italy and Germany to Portugal, to Atlanta, Wisconsin, New Orleans, the Dominican Republic, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Florida and more. City after city, the one consistent element in my life was nature and landscape. Nature’s patterns mixed with organic architectural elements surface spontaneously and suggest shapes, structures, forms, or colors. I choose personal materials on hand at home or in the studio, some new, some old, and some lost but rediscovered. They are layered one on the other, over and over again, just as my life experiences have been collected - one over the other, over the other. The works, with their materials and artifacts, become constructions that are testaments to time and place. The union is not perfect. Rough edges, pencil sketch lines, paint drips, oozing glues, and the occasional fingerprint are natural to the process and left undisturbed. Materials are manipulated, deconstructed, and reassembled, intermixing and collaborating, all working to come together as one identity.
I have a broad vocabulary of materials, marks, shapes, and forms, that I deliberately allow to encroach and interact, pushing and pulling at the surface. The work examines the struggle to find harmony in dissonance and to balance the desire for freedom with the gravity and the weight of being.
photograph: Lucie Hugary, courtesy Twyla.com
Simmons-Jimenez received a BFA from Newcomb College in New Orleans, began her studio practice in the Dominican Republic and is now based in Miami. She has exhibited in museums, galleries, the US Art in Embassies program, and media festivals in Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Shanghai, Honduras, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Canary Islands; and in the US in New York, Miami, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Long Beach, Birmingham-MI, Chicago, DC, Atlanta, and more. Notable institutions that have exhibited her work are the Chelsea Museum New York, The Mobile Museum of Art, the Museo de Arte Moderno-Dominican Republic, the US Dept. of State Art in Embassies Program, Casa de la Cultura-Valencia (Spain), Musée du Luxembourg, Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Appleton Museum, the Lowe Museum, the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, MOCA N. Miami, the Frost Museum at FIU, the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, the Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale, and others.
She is a recipient of a prestigious Knight Arts Challenge Grant, a Florida Fellowship Grant, a Florida Artists Enhancement Grant, a Miami-Dade Tourism Development Grant, a Miami-Dade Community Grant, and several more awards for both her artwork and for art project development through Artformz Alternative, an artist’s collective project she founded in 2004. In 1992 she was awarded the 1st Prize in Video at the XVIII Biennial in the Dominican Republic, resulting in her designation as a pioneer in video art and gender discourses in the country. She was the first woman to exhibit video installation art in the D.R.
The artist’s work is held in permanent collections at the Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama; Santo Domingo’s Museo de Arte Moderno; Mastercard International; the Jaffe Center for Book Arts; Louisville’s 21c Museum; and numerous private collections. Her work has been reviewed and featured in several publications such as Sculpture Magazine, Arte Al Limite (Chile), The Atlanta Journal, Miami Art Guide, The Miami New Times, Creative Loafing, The Art Newspaper, Jane Magazine, Ocean Drive Magazine, Artes (Santo Domingo), Bad at Sports, The Miami Herald and a cover story for the Miami Herald Tropical Life Magazine, twice in New American Paintings including once the selection for the cover. She is listed among the creatives that helped forge the South Florida art community in the definitive books ‘Miami Contemporary Artists,’ released by Schiffer Publishing in 2007, and ‘100+ Degrees In The Shade: A Survey of South Florida Art,’ released by [NAME] publications in 2015.
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One of the most visceral and fascinating aspects… the flowers she was pasting up were still fading and losing their color – they were “live” paintings, in the sense that they were also dying. Anne Tschida “Nature in a Studio”
Airy sculptures, woven wit wire deftly incorporate biomorphic forms as they are caught in a slow dance with gravity. Elisa Turner “Critic’s Pick” Miami Herald
A visual exploration achieved by way of a dialogue between the formal elements of video… possessed of indisputable brilliance. Jean Louis Jorge, Juror, XVIII Biennial, Dominican Republic
The effect is seductive and velvety, and mysteriously wrought with emotional associations. Dr. Carol Damian “Inside-Outside”
The artist dares again to break through her own creations freely opening up new possibilities for her art. Milagros Bello, Ph.D. “Deconstructing the Modern”