Marion K. Sims

"Sims is an artist who should be seen and known. What she has accomplished, and is still accomplishing, is both revelation and inspiration. Those of us who have seen Marion K.Sims' artwork recognize the skill, force and depth of her singularly creative mind. "
     -- Lyn DelliQuadri,
     The Art lnstitute of Chicago



Marion K. Sims is a native New Jersey artist. In 1939 she graduated from the Newark School of Fine & lndustrial Art and began an early career in commercial art. In WWII, Sims enlisted in the Women's Army Corps and worked as a graphic artist in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA and as a draftsman in the Signal Corps in London, Paris and Frankfurt. She met Edward Sims, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, while both were on tour of duty during the war in Europe. They later married and settled down in Marion's NJ hometown.

In the late 60s after raising her two children, Sims found that due to family obligations, she had been unable to realize many of her early ambitions and plans. She began a new way of thinking about her work which she has continued to explore to this day. Having exhausted her tolerance for the arrogant demands of the art establishment groups with which she had been associating, and rebelling against the exhorbitant costs of art materials and exhibiting, Sims turned away from the art world and began performing a series of solo pieces with mostly unorthodox means. Some ambiguous, some explicit, some meticulously rendered... these pieces by their very nature were surreptitious and unrecognizable, more often than not, as 'ART' (although not entirely so). She continues to work in this manner even today with timely additions or subtractions as unfolding events dictate. Some of the original pieces are still ongoing with appropriate variations.

In the 1990s Sims branched into painting on the computer. This new direction in her abstract watercolors stems from her on-going interest in exploring new possibilities and technologies. She now paints directly into the computer using a stylus and digitizing tablet with software that simulates the watercolor medium.

Earlier in her career she received a number of awards for her watercolors and prints, but since then she has worked without formal recognition -- a condition she has welcomed. She has been more interested in the process of making/doing pieces, and her anti-establishment views and desire for solitude made exhibition and promotion of her work secondary, even unnecessary. Her web site is the first comprehensive survey of her work.

Here are some of her expressions that elaborate on her unique approach to art:

  • Work full time in mediums other than Watercolor, (original medium) and painting in general while trying to prove that ART is not just "a portrait in oils over the mantelpiece".

  • Try to get away from the idea that ART is something special, precious and 'worthwhile' (involving $).

  • Experiment with new presentations.

  • Experiment with non-art materials /junk / anything

  • Experiment with non-art acts / ideas /attitudes anywhere, anytime, etc.

  • Forget Showing / Selling art entirely forever.

  • Learn to speak / read Chinese.

  • Own a horse and learn to ride it really well. (Hidalgo).

  • Play the Flute (!)

  • Perform / dance formally in NY. (Performances).

  • Grow Vegetables on the deck. (Container).

  • Make a parachute jump.

  • Reject everything & everybody. Speak out. Act obnoxious.

  • Argue about everything.

  • Stay solo.

Not accomplished to date:

Make a Parachute Jump.

Among others.

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