Wyoming Arts Council


Abridged Biography of John E Simms 2014

Born in Rochester, NY
Graduated from The Taft School, Watertown, CT
1956-1957, served in the Navy as a radar man on a small ship in the North Atlantic on the DEW Line.
1957-1961, attended Hobart College with a major in English and minor in non-Euclidean geometry.
1962-1980: Professional ski patrolman specializing in avalanche forecasting and control in Colorado and Wyoming.
In 1965 started Flagg Float Trips (raft trips on Snake River) This subsequently morphed into Wild Water River Trips, which became very successful and popular and remains so to this day.
!976: Started several companies in Jackson, WY based on products I had designed or invented. (Jesco, Snow Research Associates, Life Link International, Simms Fishing Products)

I come from a family of artists and 'though I have no formal training, I have always been creative in practical, inventive way and have always been fascinated by geometry. In college, I was particularly intrigued by non-Euclidean geometry which gave me the confidence to know that it was OK to think "outside the box", and I need not accept the way everyone else saw and accepted various products or concepts.

In 1987, I sold my business interests and turned my creative abilities from practical to artistic. I bought a welding machine, envisioning myself as a sculptor creating large metal geometric abstractions.

I soon was commissioned to fabricate a large sculpture (80’w x 12’h x 20’d) based on a maquette I had made. I was subsequently invited to be represented by the SHIDONI Gallery and Sculpture Garden near Santa Fe, NM. They sold several large pieces the first year and I felt comfortably recognized as an emerging sculptor. One of those pieces, (Imploding Cube) was purchased by a patron of The Indianapolis Art Center where it has become iconic. (Googling "Imploding Cube" will bring up a wide range of information as well as images.) I have exhibited and have public sculptures in a number of cities.

2004 nominated for a MacArthur Fellowship.
2004 received a Special Service Award from The American Avalanche Association for “specific and outstanding achievement in the service of North American snow avalanche activity”.

2006 diagnosed with kidney cancer, which resulted in a lull in my creativity

2008 finalist for a $285,000 sculpture for the new engineering school at the Tulsa campus of Oklahoma State University

John E Simms
5205 South Canadian Springs Drive
Jackson, WY 83001