Sculpture by Penny Simmons - Curly, Moe, LarryPenny Simmons exhibit at the MOarts Gallery
 Her cosmetology clients never knew that Penny Simmons was an artist who would one day create a series of award winning sculptures from discarded metal coated in rust.
 After semi-retiring from her first career, Simmons became excited about art while learning how to paint with oils. Now she earns honors and ribbons for her paintings as well as for her unique assemblage sculptures. Her sculptures are constructed from “found” wood and metal objects that she re-imagines as figures or symbolic icons.  She likes to have fun with her sketches and ideas, confident that her sense of humor is the key to “stepping out of the box with design and materials.” In her new career Penny Simmons is quite successful, creating art for galleries, exhibitions and permanent collections. But she believes there are many artists in the world and she urges everyone to give art a try.  Laughing about her first few paintings, she says, “Giving yourself permission to play like a kid opens doors to hidden talents and new friends. Workshops and hard study helps as well.” In her artist’s biography she states that the secret to her success is not taking herself too seriously, writing that “With an open mind and a bit of twisted humor, anything is possible.”
 A beginning oil painting class she attended in 2008 at the local 4-H center was inspirational for Simmons and led to winning her first ribbon at the 2008 Bald Knob Artists competition; a People’s Choice Award for her oil painting. Since then, she has won awards for sculpture and oils from a Westlake Library Juried show and Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council shows, a Lynchburg Robert & Gail Copelian Award, and, most recently in 2018, third place in the Edna Curry / John Bower Exhibition. Her art is in permanent display in the Carilion Clinic, Carilion Hospital Private Collection, Farm Bureau Westlake SML offices, and Eric Cline and Company Private and Personal Collections. Sculpture and paintings by Penny Simmons may be viewed Friday, March 2 through Saturday, March 31, 2018 in the MOarts Gallery during library hours at the Moneta/ Smith Mountain Lake Library. The library is located at 13641 Moneta RD, Moneta, Virginia. For directions call the library at: 540-425-7004.