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I grew up as a military kid, uprooted many times, from big city to small village, from big house to small cottage. My mother was an avid gardener and no matter where we landed a garden would soon magically appear out of moist, brown shades of soil. She taught me how to speak to flowers and watch them flourish. The garden, in our nomadic lives, was always the great constant. It was natural that my multi-disciplinary, studio practice would be nature-driven in it's exploration of personal, social, and political concerns. My work is an ode on the power, intelligence, and beauty of nature. I am inspired by the works of Olafur Eliasson, Kiki Smith, and Sterling Ruby, but mostly by my explorations out in nature. In my South Florida surroundings, or around the globe, my creativity is most engaged by the forests, the clouds, the rivers, and the oceans. My practice has led me on a journey of profound connection to place and purpose.
Working in the studio is a tactile recreation of memory from the field. I embrace diverse materials and the physicality of the handmade throughout the process of assembling, quilting, pasting, constructing, and stacking unlike topographies. I’m fascinated by the alchemy that makes something out of nothing, halfway orchestrating, and halfway letting go, allowing processes and actions to build the work. It is a constant push/pull progression, searching for the dialogue and connectedness between the diverse components.
My desire is to make work that gives shape to finding joy in simple things, to inspire new, stronger connections between nature, society, and the self; and to create an experience of unity and coexistence: human to nature, and human to human.
My work is an ode on the power, intelligence, and beauty of nature. I am inspired by the works of Olafur Eliasson, Kiki Smith, and Sterling Ruby, but mostly by my explorations out in nature. In my South Florida surroundings, or around the globe, my creativity is most engaged by the forests, the clouds, the rivers, and the oceans. My practice has led me on a journey of profound connection to place and purpose.
Simmons-Jiménez is an artist working in video, painting, sculpture, drawing, and installation, addressing issues concerning landscape, climate change, cultural identity, society, and place. She 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 Oolite Arts (ArtCenter South Florida) and the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art in Palma de Mallorca as a Visiting Artist. In 2019, she was invited to Essaouira, Morocco to participate at Résidence D'Artiste Ifitry, an isolated experimental workspace created to inspire and connect artists from around the world to the unique surroundings and to each other. The artist is currently at work on an upcoming solo exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, scheduled to open January 29, 2022.
Early in her career, the artist's practice extended to professional collaborations dedicated to community building. From 2004-2011, she founded and directed the artist-run collective Artformz Alternative with the goal to stimulate closer connections between artists and the public. From 2013-2016, Simmons-Jiménez served on the BOD of ArtTable, Inc in New York and held the positions of Florida Chapter Chair and Programming Director. Since 2018 she has hosted and produced Art & Company Podcast, a document of the growing South Florida art scene.
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The ethereal enveloping installation at the Sagamore Hotel from @alette2012 aka Alette Simmons Jimenez - come delve into .... the work including her wall drawings. Magic! Grela Orihuela, Director: Design Miami, Independent Curator & Art Consultant
Alette Simmons-Jiménez offers an interconnected approach to art-making, citing feelings of closeness and isolation side-by-side. Cori Hutchinson, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art
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”