Raised in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon, Simonis started his training with Fredrick Littman, a ﬁgurative sculptor who studied under Maillol. Fine art and philosophy were primary academic concentrations at the University of Oregon, where Simonis earned his B.F.A. As a young artist, he was invited by John Chamberlain to become his assistant for the International Sculpture Symposium in Eugene, Oregon.
Shortly thereafter, Simonis began his public art career as an artist-in-residence, creating a monumental sculpture for Lewis and Clark College’s new Olin Science Center. His first solo exhibition was installed in Soho, N.Y.C. He has since exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad.
Throughout his career, Simonis has been hired by universities, arts commissions, and corporations to create public works. Sculptures have been sited in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Orlando, and Boston. The architect John Portman hired Simonis for a project in Singapore. He was also commissioned for a lobby sculpture by TAC, which was sited at a Walter Gropius high rise in Cleveland. More recently, Simonis installed a major work for the architect Howard Elkus in downtown Boston. Other recent commissions include a sculptural archway at 450 Mass. Ave for Central Square Theatre at MIT; a major wall sculpture in Harvard Square; and a monumental work for California State University in the Bay Area. An advocate for artist housing, Simonis was a founder of Brickbottom, one of the largest artist-owned communities in the nation. A true bicoastal artist, Simonis is pulled equally to the Elkhorn Mountains of Oregon and the galleries of Chelsea in Manhattan.