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Tommy Simpson

Object Study

Furniture Maker

Tommy Simpson

Simpson is an imaginist who has worked in nearly every medium, including woodworking, painting, printmaking, ceramics, bookmaking, jewelry, and writing. Whether it’s a painting or sculptural object, in each of Simpson’s works there is an identifiable style that puzzles together the artist’s personal and cultural references into a signature blend of joyfulness and subtle commentary. On describing Simpson’s sensibility, Karen S. Chambers comments, “It’s whimsical and wry, naive yet savvy, intelligent but not cerebral.” Edward S. Cooke, Jr. (Yale University) wrote, “Simpson is simply a maker who deftly blends utility, memory, irony, and spirituality in his accomplishments. Fundamental to his life has been a conviction that ‘art can be meaningful and still give joy.’ He makes fanciful, whimsical objects that incorporate verbal and visual puns and probe the meanings of cultural icons, but undertakes such commentary within comfortable settings. His works possess an engaging tension that employs friendly humor or familiar details and conventions to inspire long-lasting thoughtfulness.”

Conference Sessions