Simmons, February 2022

February 4 - All Day Pop-In (artist 5-7)


Kerry Simmons

About the Exhibit

There’s a universal and timeless joy in activities like hide and seek, dress up, and exploration. Feeling exhaustion from the digital world I wanted to focus instead on real world activities that are tactile, nurturing, and healing….

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Fun and Games
Colored Pencil works from Kerry Simmons
On view: Feb. 4 – 25
Opening Reception: All Day Pop-in Feb. 4, 11-7pm (Artist on Hand 5-7)


Robert Lange Studios upcoming exhibit, “Fun and Games” features the works of colored pencil artist Kerry Simmons. Simmons’ said, “There’s a universal and timeless joy in activities like hide and seek, dress up, and exploration. Feeling exhaustion from the digital world I wanted to focus instead on real world activities that are tactile, nurturing, and healing.”


All are welcome at the Feb. 4 opening reception that will be an all day pop-in from 11-7 where the artist will be on hand to answer questions from 5-7pm.


Simmons is known for her ability to create narrative works using a number of different mediums from oil to pencil to gouache. For this show she has chosen to work in colored pencil. Simmons’ says, “Working in colored pencil suits my way of approaching realism, that is, allows me to build form through layers and glazes. Colored pencil doesn’t mix like paint so I am forced to use a large spectrum of colors and do a lot of mixing to create exactly the right color and value. It’s a slow process of building which appeals to my interest in texture, light, and detail.” Gallery owner Robert Lange would agree with Simmons’ saying, “There’s a connection between the colored pencil work and the series being about childhood. The use of colored pencil correlates to the narrative she is creating and enhances it.”


The title of the show “Fun and Games” comes from the artist’s desire for individuals to reconnect with the feelings of exploration during childhood. Simmons says, “In spending more time outdoors and doing activities that were once a big part of my life like playing tennis and skating, I’ve reconnected with the joy of getting down and dirty in the real world, smelling the grass, feeling the wind grab a kite, whacking a ball as hard as I can, and wanted to celebrate these games that children and adults play, away from practical work and computer screens. A child fully in the moment, enjoying whatever activity they are up to is a beautiful thing and an inspiration for how I would like to move through life.”


Simmons desire to reconnect with her own childhood is mirrored in many historical paintings, some of which she used as inspiration for this show. She says, “It started with Bruegel’s painting “Children’s games,” which is teeming with children playing every kind of game that one can think of, so many of them exactly the same today as at the time the painting was created. I suspect, even with so many advances in technology, children will continue to play the same games for years to come.” Finding inspiration not just from Bruegel’s Simmons says, “I considered these pieces sort of a mashup of some of my favorite things in art: the thoughtful children of Margaret Keane, the earthiness of Andrew Wyeth, and the keen observation of Robert Vickrey.”


All of the works in the show revolve around the theme of childhood nostalgia with titles like “ Flower Girl” and “Hide and Seek” the viewer is tempted to reminisce. Talking about the piece “Jacks,” Simmons’s says, ““Jacks” was inspired by the work of Robert Vickrey. I was studying his techniques for egg tempera and was fascinated by his compositions which are often combinations of the figure, flat background images and long graphic shadows. Incorporating his “formula” allowed me to approach the game of jacks, which I enjoyed as a girl, with a more dynamic composition than is typical for me. I was also fortunate to have my model lead me to her schoolyard which was covered in chalk drawings, and that, together with a hot September sun and an enthusiastic model pulled the piece together.”


Overall the exhibit is a perfect example of the artist’s desire to highlight the core memories that are accumulated during childhood and bring the viewer into her playful world. Mylo Charles, one of Simmons’ collectors from Charleston SC said, “I have Kerry’s works in both oil and colored pencil. What I find so astonishing is that no matter what application she uses I know it is her work. She has that special identifiable quality in the way she applies color.”

Exhibit Images

Opening Night



Robert Lange Studios