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Local Artists Live: Warren Simons
April 10, 2021; 10:00 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Photographer Warren Simons is the next featured artist on the upcoming Local Artists Live segment. Offering insight into his artistic vision and creative process, his session will also share a glimpse of what participants might expect in his upcoming virtual photography workshop at the MMFA, inspired by the works of photographer Anderson Scott.
Warren grew up in Massachusetts and lived in New York for 25 years; he now makes his home in Montgomery. Art was not an outlet of expression during his youth or something he pursued academically; in fact, he earned a Bachelor of Science in clinical laboratory science from Rutgers University. It wasn’t until 2003 that photography became a daily practice for Warren, when he purchased his first digital camera and began bringing it with him on walks to and from work. Warren found the world to be full of visual surprises, hidden in plain sight. He does not create a plan for what he will photograph—he lets the visual surprises find him. “I’ve come to realize that it’s all about seeing. So I am really practicing the art of seeing and expressing that work with my camera.” In addition to photography, Warren also draws and paints; he aims to spend time every day engaged with art in one way or another, whether making his own or appreciating and reading about the art of others.
Continue reading below to learn more about Warren, his art and interests, and tune in for the behind-the-scenes look into his creative space and process, featured on the MMFA’s Instagram account from 10-10:30 AM on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
This program is part of the series:
Meet the Artist
What is something you appreciate about life in the South?
It doesn’t snow (or hardly ever). I’ve met some wonderful artists in the South. It’s the first place where I feel like I’ve joined a supportive art community.
What is a work of art in the MMFA’s collection that you appreciate, and why?
I love Chester Higgins’s photo called Shugg Lampley at the Garden Gate. That photo makes you feel her humanity and dignity. I got to hear Chester Higgins talk about how he came to take that image so it’s even more special now.
What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?
When a photo of mine really grabs me I print it and put it on the mantel-shelf to look at. So my favorite piece of art is whatever is up on that mantel right now.
Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person?
There are so many wonderful pieces of artwork in the world that I don’t think I have one special piece that I could single out.
Tell us about your most preferred place to be on Earth. What role, if any, has the energy of that place helped shape you as an artist?
[I love] the woods, the beach, and mountains. They all elicit a sense of serenity in me. Pick one, go there, that will be my favorite.
What drives your creativity?
I just adore that moment when something in the visual world reveals itself to me, when I least expect it, and never anticipated it. I live for those moments. I know that they will happen. And I keep working on “seeing” to take me there.
What is your preferred medium?
My mind, eyes, and heart, and how those connections with the visual world result in moments expressed with my camera.
What advice would you give to beginning artists?
Work. Work. Keep working. Talk with as many other artists as you can. Go to as many openings and shows as you can. Read as much and as widely as you can. Everything that you do in life, that you experience and are exposed to, it all informs your work. Look at it as an open-ended journey where you get to go explore wherever it takes you.
What excites you the most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene, and how might we further these efforts throughout our community?
I am most excited about the fact that more artists and art groups are working to include as broad a range of people as possible in their activities. There is no blueprint on how to do that. Just be open, keep reaching out, and see what happens.