Printmaker, Spartanburg, SC
Artist Statement: My work is a direct response to my life experiences. Although my work does not directly reproduce any specific events, the imagery is made up of objects and icons that reflect and give way to narrative vignettes abstracted from my life. I use my personal experiences as a lens to explore cultural context and develop visual concepts as metaphor. For me it is important that the outside world is not simply viewed and represented by the artist, but rather that is it viewed, assimilated, and interpreted by the artist. When the objects and images from our everyday lives mingle with nuances of memory and forgetting, the familiar becomes saturated with multiple layers of meaning from the seemingly mundane to the larger-than-life metaphorical significance. Looking at the loss of southern oral traditions and storytelling, I am motivated by the need to preserve and to explore those fundamental experiences that create the wellspring of my cultural experience, that intangible mysticism of a cultural experience and identity. My work is the physical embodiment of an emotional experience as an investigation of the self told in the media of printmaking and the process therein. As a whole, my work is a means for me to understand my personal emotional relationship to society’s activity in remembering and forgetting. My works transforms a shared personal experience into an emotionally tangible visual object. I work through the printmaking process to develop a body of work that makes sense of emotional, cultural, and physical experiences.
Biography: D.L. Simmons (Lee) is a native of South Carolina. He received his BFA in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College of Art and while there he studied printmaking abroad at Charles Rennie Mackintosh-Glasgow College of Art. Lee then went on to earn an MFA in Printmaking from Louisiana State University. Recently, Lee has shown at the Gallery East and Hub-Bub Gallery, Spartanburg, SC; Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA; Winter’s Ink National Printmaking Exhibition, Oxford, MS; and American Youth Printmaking Exhibition at Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China. Lee is a working artist and adjunct professor for USC Upstate, Limestone College, Converse College and the Colors Outreach Program of the Spartanburg Art Museum.
Sponsored by: thINK Printmaking Club, Paper Fox Printmaking Workshop, Fine Arts Colloquium, and the Department of Art & Art History