Peanut Gallery in Windwardside will be holding its first exhibition of the new season featuring local artist Stacey Simmons’ latest work. Gallery’s manager Gersh Geenty extends an open invitation to all residents and visitors to an opening night reception at The Peanut Gallery in Lambee’s Place, Windwardside, today Saturday, 7:00-9:00pm. The exhibition will continue until September 12, with opening hours Monday to Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm, and Sunday, 12:00-3:00pm.
The exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Mind,” features the work of Stacey Simmons, a talented young local artist, who is also art teacher at Saba Comprehensive School (SCS). Simmons has been painting since early childhood. Her passion for visual arts took her to University of South Florida, Tampa, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts, graduating magna cum laude in 2006. She went on to obtain a Master’s degree in art education at Florida International University in 2009. In 2010, she took up her current position at SCS, in returning to the roots of her inspiration.
Geenty explained the title of the exhibition, “Landscapes of the Mind,” personifies “the thrust of Stacey’s work, which constantly juxtaposes opposite ends of the continuum that exists in our modern world: cities versus islands; tradition versus popularity; and how cultures dictate value.” Simmons explores the constant shift of everyday life, “counterbalancing naturalism with syntheticism,” said Geenty.
In her artist’s statement, Simmons described her work as an outcome of personal reflection taken from experiences and observations of places. “Growing up on the small Dutch Caribbean island of Saba and studying abroad in America has affected how I create. In my work, there is not one single image in a painting that can convey the concept, but how they work together that conveys a story. The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe. When one looks at a piece of art, our perception is affected by an array of past assumptions borrowed from society. In my body of work, I hope to distort this perception by posing new relations between symbols, images and ideas. I invite the viewer to have a closer look, hoping to provide them with a unique visual experience,” Simmons stated.
Her work explores the constant shift of the everyday life within which individuals strive to maintain a perfect balance between “the boundaries of release and control.” She reflects on this in the visual realm with straight, controlled lines that pierce through flowing surges of paint, which have evolved into forms only by gravity, without any manipulation. Her stated intention is “to explore beyond naturalism by transforming imagery into a synthetic, mystical realm. In the moments when the shift between representation and abstraction takes place, interesting, complex relationships are created and a new, enigmatic composition evolves,” Simmons said.
The exhibit includes works from 2006 to the present day, and contains oils, watercolours, lithographs and mixed-media pieces, which are all for sale.