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  • Writer's pictureMolly Steffens

SOULWORKS: A Post Conversation with Artist Jevoid Simmons

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Interview by Alpha Bruton, Curator, Phantom Gallery Chicago with Rose Cannon

November 11, 2020

As long as I can remember I’ve been an art maker. I’m not grounded in any specific artistic system. Art classes were a part of my educational experience from grade through junior high school. Of all the schooling received in those years, the arts were an anchor for me.

I’m drawn to primitive art and enjoy working in this style. It often captures the daily life, work, and play of common folk … not bound by the necessity of precision. There are warmth and tranquility about it in the presence of turbulent surroundings and events of the day. Soft/cozy in appearance, it can be an effective method to invite diverse audiences into difficult/ serious subject matter.

Sugar Creek Folk Art represents the creative work of Jevoid Simmons, specializing in Afrocentric carvings, paintings, and Americana crafts. On display are Simmons’ original paintings, with accompanying narratives, that detail his family’s departure from the South in the early 1950s as part of the historic black migration.

Rose Cannon of Cannon Fine Art in collaboration with Artist and Curator, Fran Joy, curated ‘Soulworks’, a collection of art by artists of color, both renowned and emerging, at the Evanston Art Center. The group show included Black American, Creole, African, Caribbean, and Japanese artists, exhibiting an eclectic and exciting array of artwork, which includes original oil and acrylic pieces on canvas and wood, framed giclee prints of watercolor, digital prints, carved wood, banana tree leaves, and functional designer wood screens.

Investigation: How do artists impact their environment and contribute to the overall vitality of a city?

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