Alette Simmons-Jiménez

 

I am an interdisciplinary artist, working in painting, sculpture, installation, and video.  I explore social, political, and ecological interconnectedness. I am deeply inspired by the natural world and I like to imagine that my job is to express the possible harmony between nature and humanity.  

Growing up in a military family was a transcultural experience.  Constantly on the move, I became accustomed to an everchanging palette of people, places, and cultures.  I remember a mixed-media tapestry of modern city skylines and ancient palaces; of gold-leafed carriages and tiny, colorful mosaics.  My practice is influenced by these deep-rooted visions of architecture and design. The geometrics of civilization mixed with the elemental in nature and humanity.   Patterns and waves, spirals and circles, appear and overlap, again and again in my work.

I value craft as well as vision and concept.  My work celebrates the physicality of the handmade, engaging materiality, and creating work that is a tactile experience.  I rarely use art store supplies, preferring the local hardware store or recycled, found, and altered materials instead.  These elements provide extraordinary gravity, depth, and richness, a gift originating from their unknown, unique origins. 

I’m most engaged when I can invite visitors into an immersive experience, a space with works assembled and arranged as a catalyst for dialogue.  A place where the works have become recontextualized by their placement, allowing them to speak with each other.   A cosmos created by gestures and energy that have the possibility to connect everyone and everything.

 

BIO:

Simmons-Jiménez 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 extensively in museums, galleries, and media festivals internationally and has collaborated with designers and architects to install large scale commissions in public and private spaces.  She has had solo exhibits at the MOMA Santo Domingo, Palm Beach ICA Media Room with curator Michael Rush, Inter-American Development Bank Washington D.C. with curator Susana Leval, ArtCenter South Florida, Frances Wolfson Gallery at Miami-Dade College.  Notable institutions exhibiting her work in group exhibits have been at the Chelsea Museum New York, The Mobile Museum of Art, the US Dept. of State Art in Embassies Program (Riyadh & Tegucigalpa), Casa de la Cultura-Valencia (Spain), Musée du Luxembourg, Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Appleton Museum, the Lowe Museum, 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.  The artist was the first woman to exhibit video installation art in the Dominican Republic and 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 is listed among the creatives that helped forge the South Florida art community in the definitive books ‘Miami Contemporary Artists’ published in 2007, and ‘100+ Degrees In The Shade: A Survey of South Florida Art’ published in 2015.

In 2017, she was awarded a Grant from the ArtCenter South Florida and the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art in Palma de Mallorca to participate as a Visiting Artist. In early 2018, from her Miami studio, Simmons-Jimenez launched Art & Company Podcast, recorded, edited, and produced by the artist as a document of the South Florida art scene and a means of connecting community. 

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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

Simmons-Jiménez won, in 1992, one of the prizes of the XVIII Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales with the first video-art installation ever realized in the Dominican Republic, "A couple of days in the life of Julie Ozama" (1992).  With this title "Revolution Evolution" (2003) the 'Dominican' video art and gender discourses pioneer plays with her doubled alterity … and codifies a new vision of Nature’s performatic talents.  Dr. Alanna Lockward “Towards a Utopian Archeology”

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”