Simonson in his first studio in Lincoln in 2012
In 2012 Simonson made a major life change and–after living there for over 40 years–decided it was time to leave Hawaii. He went on the road and landed temporarily in Lincoln, Nebraska, where his sister (and best friend) Kelly lives. It was a serendipitous move, since the artist’s aging parents had just moved from the Sandhills to Lincoln, and he had a chance to spend time with his mother before her death in summer 2013.
Simonson’s artistic life got a jolt when he moved into a space in Parrish Studios, a conglomeration of studios, shops and galleries in downtown Lincoln. For the first time since college, he was part of a lively creative community, and it gave his painting new energy. He found himself expanding in exciting new directions, both in terms of painting techniques and subject matter, with more portraits, landscapes and abstract work joining the male nudes.
The ‘temporary stay’ in Lincoln lasted for 2 eventful years. Simonson loved Parrish Studios and the energy of its community, but he knew he didn’t belong in Nebraska. It was time for another move.
Scenes from First Friday, a monthly event where artists at Parrish open up their studios to the public
Representative works from Simonson’s time at Parrish Studios show explosive energy and exciting new directions