Photography | Utah Artists - S

Ryan Simmons

Ryan Simmons is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores concepts related to human and self-identity, religious cultural impact, and human influence on the natural environment. He has received an Associates of Fine Arts and an Associates of Science at Snow College and is currently working towards his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at the University of Utah with an expected graduation date of Fall 2024.

Simmons’ held the role of Programs Assistant at Granary Arts as well as co-curator of Lumlux Gallery. He has also worked as the Head Art Editor for the Snow College Weeds Literary Journal, Artist Assistant to Ben Sang, and as an intern for Final Hot Desert contemporary art space. He’s won over 30 awards including the U of U WRC award at the Governor’s Mansion and has been involved in multiple community projects such as a coloring book for Shriner’s Children Hospital. His selected exhibitions include the COP 28 Virtual Platform, Granary Arts, The Great Basin Station, B. F. Larsen Main Gallery, Annex, Altspace, Lumlux, and Snow Art Gallery.

Grays Bleed Red With the Hands of Progress is a site-specific installation and performance situated along the shoreline of Utah Lake, Utah, USA. These canvases, rendered with iron—a mineral ubiquitous in Utah’s soil and urban development—serve as a nuanced exploration of the intersection between the natural world and human-built environments. Amidst this collection, one painting floats atop Utah Lake’s surface, echoing the architectural designs of the “Utah Lake Restoration Project.” This specific artwork, as it gently dissolves into the lake’s waters, symbolically underscores the historical and contemporary impacts of human intervention upon the lake and its surrounding lands. The act of dissolution, as driven by the lake’s dynamic waves, illustrates the perpetual cycle of change and regeneration, transforming the painting’s frame and washing the canvas clean. In this interaction, Utah Lake becomes an unexpected collaborator in the artistic process, with entropy serving as its chosen medium. This installation, at its core, serves as a reflection on the boundary between human and natural influence. It encapsulates the beauty and inherent conflicts that emerge when these two forces inevitably converge, inviting viewers to contemplate the intricate interplay between our constructed landscapes and the unyielding, yet ever-adaptive, forces of nature.



Ryan Simmons, “Baptism,” 2023, archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.


Ryan Simmons, “Conflict 2,” 2023, archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.


Ryan Simmons, “Island Install,” 2023, archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.


Ryan Simmons, “Island Drifting,” 2023, archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.


Ryan Simmons, “Island,” 2023, archival pigment print, 12 x 18 in.


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