I am a multidisciplinary artist. My work varies from painting, drawing, and collage; to photography, video, sound, sculptural objects, and installation. I design and build everything by hand. Running parallel to my studio practice is also a back-end production of projects that seek to create a dialogue, to connect, and to involve the broader community.
I have strong multi-cultural influences assimilated through living in an endless list of homes stretching from Italy, Germany, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic, to Atlanta, Wisconsin, New Orleans, New York, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Tampa and Miami, Florida. Always leaving, and always arriving, would turn me into an outsider in any new culture, and as well, an outsider at home.
My aesthetic process emerged with the mechanisms of acceptance, interconnectedness, and exploration, informed by the complexity of multiple centers with multiple peripheries that shaped my identity and the meaning of place. Today my work is motivated by the dynamic relationships between shapes, form, and color resulting from a spontaneous integration of the known and the unknown. I’m interested in the interplay of dimensions when flat works include three-dimensional parts and multi-dimensional works are strongly directed by flat patterns and lines, where the actual arrangement takes prime importance. I like to view the elements in conversation with each other, mixing and mingling structures and fluidity, one encroaching on the other, rendering boundaries indiscernible.
I begin working by layering, overlapping, and binding things together, then I tear them apart to see what's revealed. My work appears both abstract and referential. The process is like weaving together and then peeling back layers of skin overlapped by memory, place, and experience.
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, and media festivals in Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic, Greece, China, 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 with 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”