Timothy Simmons is an African American Artist native to Newark, NJ. Simmons was born in Cumberland County, North Carolina and at the age of 3, the family relocated to Newark were his father pastored a church for many years. 

As a student of Arts High School, Simmons was introduced to various artists and art styles namely Jose Manuel Cruz, Nette Forne Thomas, Willie Cole, Bradford Brown and Gladys Barker Grauer to name a few.  It was at Arts High School where Simmons first displayed his artwork at a gallery - City Without Walls Gallery – and won national art competitions. 

In 1998, Timothy earned a BS in Biology from Seton Hall, followed by a Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy in 2009. 

Timothy taught high school science in Paterson for several years before transitioning to Newark Public Schools where her served as a Physics and Biology teacher at University High School for 10 years.  During his tenure as a teacher, Simmons continued to promote the Arts by engaging the students in extra credit activities completing murals at the infamous East Side High School in Paterson as well as assisting the University High School students start an animation club.


Recently, the love and passion of painting was rekindled in Simmons while he painted a landscape with his ten year old daughter during the pandemic. 

Simmons’ art takes on social commentary, dismantling negative perceptions.  “I believe my work has the power to inform the general public by creating an open dialogue on race built on the foundation of black excellence.”  Simmons' works challenge the negative stereotypes of African Americans by providing the viewer with unbiased “conventional” (i.e. normal) images of family life of African Americans.


Timothy Simmons received a 2022 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.



Artist Statement:


How we identify ourselves is an important attribute in the development of an individual’s self-worth and unconscious acceptance or belonging to his/her family.  At the core, the work I produced reflects a conscious effort to portray African-Americans in imagery that connects to their African roots illustrating the bonds of loving, caring and supportive families.  Our youth are not exposed to imagery depicting heroism, power, beauty, and royalty in their daily lives. 

My art practice takes on social commentary, critiquing perceptions of being Black and being a part of a Black family.