BIOGRAPHY

J. MICHAEL SIMPSON

  

During a graduate art history course at Illinois State University, I made a connection between my childhood experiences and the art theory associated with ‘the Sublime’. Those ideas gave artistic relevance to the awe and wonder I experienced playing on the banks of a river in Illinois. However, it was during a trip to the Colorado Rockies, that I discovered my life long path for exploring rivers as a suitable image for my work and interest in the Sublime. The Colorado river that convinced me was the Big Thompson. Its waters charged down the mountain slope leaping and surging with an energy and spirit I associated with the wonder and ferocity of the Sublime. Though awestruck by the power of that river and convinced it was a suitable image for my painting, its incessant movement offered a serious technical issue.


My artistic interest was to transcribe the sublime elements of the river into painterly representation that would offer a Sublime aesthetic experience. That required a careful study of the complexities of a river’s tumultuous details. Unfortunately, the roiling surface of any whitewater river is never still. But, with the use of film photography I learned how to transcribe the energy of the river with gesture marks of intense color onto large scale canvases evoking the energy of the river. However, solving that problem offered an unexpected content. The ancient Greek fragment (Heraclitus of Ephesus, about 535-475 BC) suggests that you can never step into the same waters twice. This idea seemed apparent in my work. To me, that idea made my paintings as much about the flux and flow of life as it was about the flux and flow of the river.  I intended the paintings, inspired by the Big Thompson and now by many other rivers, to be metaphors for those moments of choice and change that we experience in life: bridges between the forces of nature and the human spirit.


Since then and thanks to a career in teaching, I was able to travel and make work from rivers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North and South Carolina. The work garnered over two hundred exhibitions, a residency at the Millay Colony for Artists, an Alabama State Grant in Painting, and teaching positions at several universities; most recently at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1999-2015).


In 2005 I was invited to be a resident at the McColl Center for the Visual Arts. While there, I asked to borrow their digital camera to photograph the waters of the Upper Middle Saluda River that flows through western North and South Carolina. Instead I was loaned and used a digital video camera to collect images. The technical leap was astounding-from 36 images per film roll to 30 images per second. The number of potential images was over whelming, the stop-action of any frame was breathtaking, and the ability to manipulate the images was empowering. Now my work interlaces the traditional media with that of video recordings to create paintings, drawings, installations, and video shorts. My intent is to explore the relationship of contemporary media and the human concepts of place, and in particular, time. Recently, my work was screened in “Spaces”, Its Liquid: International Art and Architecture Festival (Venice, Italy).

Site Content

Additional Information

Resume

RECENT EXHBITIONS

(The number of exhibitors for each exhibition is placed in parentheses at the end of the entry when known.)

2018

“Spaces”, Its Liquid: Intern’tl.Art and Architecture Festival, The Room Contemporary Art Space, Venice, Italy (?).

“2018 Bank of the Arts Juried Exhibition”, Craven Arts Council and Gallery, New Bern, NC (111).

“Immersed in Abstraction“, Ellington White Gallery, on-line exhibition, Fayetteville, NC (50). 

“Abstract Only”, Wailoa Art Center, Hilo HI. (64).

“43rd Annual Juried Show”, Anderson Art Center, Anderson South Carolina (?). 

“Underexposed Film Festival”, (international) Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC (?)

2017 

“Miami New Media Festival”, Arts Connection Foundations. Miami, FL (45).

“New Directions 2017”, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, New York (?).

“Paradox”, Spark Gallery, Denver, CO.

“Black and White”, Fusion Gallery, (on line-https//fusionartps.com/black-and-white-art-exhibition-august-2017(?).

“Moving In Place”, Gallery 120, Clover, SC (1).

”42 Annual Juried Exhibition Show”, Anderson Art Center, Anderson, SC (?). 

“Drawing Practice: Bellingham National 2017 Juried Art Exhibition”, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA (?). 

“Underexposed Film Festival”, (international) Center for the Performing Arts, Rock Hill, SC (?).

“Southern Futurism”, The Healthcare Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA (13).

“North Carolina Artists Exhibition”, Duke Center for Performing Arts, Raleigh, NC (72). 

2016 

“2016 Third Coast National”, K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, TX (59). 

“A Sense of Place, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA (?).
“No Place in Time”, Rowe Galleries, Art Dept., University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC (1). 

“Underexposed Film Festival”, (international) Center for the Performing Arts, Rock Hill, SC (?).

2016 

“In Motion”, Dalton Galley, York County Arts Council, Rock Hill, SC (3).

“No Place in Time”, Rowe Galleries, Dept. of Art, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC (1). 


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2015 “Sustainability”, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA (6).

2014 “Seeking the Sublime: Simpson Mullenix Rouser”, Dalton Gallery, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill, SC (3).

2013 “National Juried Art Show 2013”, Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, Ashland, KY (?). 

2012 “The Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water”, Venice Arts Gallery, Venice, CA (9). 

2011  “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring: …..”, The Wiseman Gallery, Rogue Community College, Grants Pass, OR(23).

          “Streams”, South Gallery, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, VA (1).

2010 “J. Michael Simpson: Feature Artist”, City Art, Columbia, SC (1).

2009 “SourceReSource”, Environmental Center Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia, SC (1).

2008  “Moving In Place”, Central Piedmont Community College, Ross Gallery, Charlotte, NC (1).

2007 “Re-implacements”, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Anderson Gallery, Eureka, CA (1).

2006  “The Elements”, on line exhibition”, Caladan Gallery, Beverley MA, www.caladangallery.com. (34). 

2005 "Saluda Re-implacement", Joie Lassiter Gallery, Charlotte, NC (1).

          "Affiliate Artist's Open House", McColl Center for the Visual Arts, Charlotte, NC (10).

2004  "Simpson and Pergl", Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX (2).

"Terrestrial Forces", F.S.U. Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (24).

2003 “Combined Talents: The 18th Annual. Florida Intern'l Combined Talents”, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fl (?).

2002 “Group Show”, Gallery Alexie, New York, New York (6).

2001 “Northern National”, Art Competition”, Nicolette College Gallery, Rhinelander, WI (?). 

2000 “Change In Place”, Rowe Gallery, Art Dept., University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC (1).


AWARDS, HOORS AND GRANTS

2018 “Merit Award”, 43rd Annual Juried Show”, Anderson Art Center, Anderson SC.

2017Small Grant” (750.00 for video camera purchase), Art Council of York County, Rock Hill, SC.

Director’s Choice”, invited to exhibit video in the 2015 Under Exposed Film Festival, (international 

participation) Winthrop University Student Union, Rock Hill Rock Hill, SC. 

2014Director’s Choice”, invited to exhibit video in the 2015 Under Exposed Film Festival, (international 

participation) Community Performance Center, Rock Hill Rock Hill, SC. 

2012 “Third Place”, “23rd Annual Juried Competition Exhibition”, Center for the Arts, Rock Hill, SC. 

2013  “Second Place”, “National Juried Art Show 2013”, Highlands Museum, Ashland, KY.

2009 Shipping, ($250.00), “Unearth”, Saluda Shoals Environmental Center, Columbia, SC.

2008 Honorarium, ($100.00) “In Place: Memory and Movement”, Waterworks Center for the Arts, Salisbury, NC.

Shipping ($150.00), “In Place: Memory and Movement”, Waterworks Center for the Arts, Salisbury, NC.

2007 “Take It Outside”: images of selected paintings were used in the film documenting 50 years of the American 

Whitewater Association, (Premiere-American Whitewater Center, Charlotte, NC.

2005 Affiliate Resident: McColl Center for the Visual Arts, Charlotte, NC. 

2004 “Publishing Award”: Chelsea Global Showcase Competition", Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, NY. 

2002  “Artist Project Grant”: ($2000 for brochure “Natural Remains”,), Arts and Science Council, Charlotte, NC. 

“Small Grant”: ($400 for brochure “Natural Remains”), Rock Hill Arts Council, Rock Hill, SC 

“Grant”, ($250.00 for brochure “Natural Remains”), Art Department, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. 

2001 “Award of Excellence”, ($1000). “Northern National Art Competition”, Nicolette College Gallery, Rhinelander, WI. 

“Honorable Mention”, “Soho International Art Competition”, Agora Gallery, New York, NY.

“Watercolor Magic: Yearbook 2002”: featured in the article “Ones to Watch”, December 2001. 


JUROR

2009  “Lake Norman Art League's Juried Spring Exhibition”, Charlotte Art League, Davidson, NC. 

2007 “Spring into Art Annual Member’s Exhibition,” Charlotte Art League, Charlotte, NC.

2003  “Cleveland County Artists Competition”, Cleveland County Arts Council, Center, Shelby, N