Biography

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Kimberly Simpson grew up in upstate New York and studied art at the University of Colorado and Brooklyn College (CUNY), earning both a BFA and an MFA in sculpture, as well as an advanced certificate in Performance and Interactive Media Arts. Early on, she knew that she wanted to be an artist. One of her earliest memories as a child is that of a family friend trying to talk her out of becoming an artist when she grew up, by describing for her the dismal future she would be sure to have as a “starving artist.” Despite the fact that – in her mother’s own words – neither of her parents could “draw a straight line with a ruler,” they were always supportive of her artistic ambitions.

In recent years, Simpson realized a “marriage” of her fine art background (mainly sculpture/installation) and her commercial pursuits in computer-based graphic design. Starting with her discovery of digital video during graduate school, she has gone onto develop multi-media installations (encompassing sculptural objects, video, and at times, net art) and technology-based collaborative works utilizing video, sound, and movement. Over the years, Simpson has been greatly influenced by her mentors, professors which she worked closely with during her formal education. She continues to seek out similar relationships as a template for mapping out her life as an artist through her membership in a women’s artist group, finding inspiration in women many years her senior who are committed to the pursuit of a creative life.
Upon returning from a trip to Europe where she set out to view (in person) much of the art she had studied in art history books, Simpson moved to New York City in 1995, and currently lives in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. Throughout her tenure in New York she has worked as a gallery assistant, a visual arts teacher for a children’s summer program, a graphic designer, and a video editor. During graduate school she served as director for the art department gallery. Currently, she teaches digital video at the New York City College of Technology.

Simpson’s work, which has been described as embodying a “poetic minimalism,” has been reviewed in the Village Voice and the Colorado Daily. She attended the Julia and David White Artist Colony in Costa Rica, in 2001. Group exhibitions include: Rapture, Empire Fulton Ferry State Park – DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY; New York Area Graduate Exhibition, sponsored by the College Art Association, Hunter College, New York, NY; and Tributary, AIR Gallery, New York, NY. Solo exhibitions include: The Kissing Booth, International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, AK; and Underneath, Inside, Through, Edge Gallery, Denver, CO. Collaborative multi-media performances, where Simpson designed and performed live video, include: Galaxie Pearl, Danspace Project: New York, NY; Hotspot: Connect the Dots, Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY. Her work also appears in the Rhizome.org Art Base net art archive.

Drawn to found objects for their inherent history, Simpson works across media, choosing materials that serve the idea – process, exploration and investigation all being vital to her work. She finds it her duty as an artist to call attention to overlooked details, asking for the viewer’s participation in the work. Simpson’s work demonstrates an active engagement with her local environment, evidenced previously in her use of natural materials gathered from the landscape while living in Colorado, and presently in marking sites of environmental damage in her Brooklyn neighborhood.