photograph: Lucie Hugary, courtesy Twyla.com
Alette Simmons-Jimenez is a visual artist, designer, and cultural organizer. She defines her work in mixed media as the study of a boundaryless universe. Early life included twenty-two homes, and this nomadic experience directly influences her creative approach. Both inside and outside the studio she is driven to building connections and to creating personal community amongst diverse elements. The artist explores concepts of individual identity and perceptions of “home” that engage the experience of "place" and "out-of-place".
Simmons-Jimenez mixes different techniques, materials, and media, pushing the limits of assemblage and collage through a practice of continuous fragmentation and synthesis. She acknowledges she is not a purist, and would never want to be stuck in any one thing. It is the touch, feel, and spontaneous attraction to certain seemingly disjointed "things and ideas" that lead her creative process. She uses anything from paint-splattered recycled cardboard, found or rediscovered objects, video, rebar wire, wedding gifts, plastics, crystals, spray paint, crocheted doilies, duct tape, or even sections cut from her own photographs or previous artwork. She will deconstruct one thing to create and discover a new, more personal and meaningful story in another.
The outcome varies from focused to immersive, and from discreet to baroque. The artist's choice of materials is of prime importance. Nothing is random. Things must have a history that shows the lines, marks, and scars defining their trajectory. This visceral activity, exploring memory, personal objects, recollected landscape and visual pattern, is the wayfarer's exercise in search of self-discovery.
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, 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-the City of Valencia, 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, 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.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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”