You can't find much about him online, unless it pertains to his teaching at The Georgetown Atelier in Seattle, a school he founded about seven years ago, tucked away in the corner of an old brick brewery building. No website, very little social media presence, very little press. So how on earth did I find this guy with the weird name? Glad you asked!
Let's hop in the DeLorean and time travel to 2007, where I am scoping out a potential studio space on the second floor of a historic building in the odd and wonderful neighborhood of Georgetown in south Seattle. As I'm looking at a space in the collective known as Georgetown Art Center, one of the studio doors pops open and this young, swaggering1 guy steps out. The GAC director introduces me to one of her art tenants, Tenaya Sims. "Go check out his work," she waves me into his space, "it's breathtaking". I walk in and am met with oil paintings of such pristine quality, I can't believe this guy actually painted them. He explains he recently graduated from the Juliette Aristides atelier, and I'm doubly impressed. After all, she literally wrote the books on atelier drawing and painting. I realized at that moment that this was the place I needed to be; all the art in this space was fantastically good, and I needed to be surrounded by really good works.
|"Thistle", oil on canvas. I got to know Tenaya at about this time.|
|"The Birth of Venus", oil on linen. It's over 8 feet in width and took over a year to paint.|
|"The Birth of Venus", detail|
|Once Tenaya worked out the composition on a smaller scale, he could then tackle the final canvas|
|William Bouguereau, "The Birth of Venus", 1879. Venus' skin reflects the pearlescence of the oyster shell. Bougureau defined English beauty during his lifetime.|
|"Semillas", oil and 23k gold leaf on panel. This piece is 72 x 101".|
|Working on the as-yet unnamed oversized painting|
|Peter Paul Rubens, "Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion", 1639.|
|"Linea", oil on linen mounted on panel.|
|"Huyen", oil on linen mounted on panel.|
|Krab Jab Studio makes use of open space|
He definitely rolled up his sleeves and went to work this last year, and his solo show of thirteen drawings and paintings is tight, beautifully painted, and exciting, which is the last adjective you'd consider for a realist painter of classical bend. He's taking on narratives, crossing that bridge between conservative realism to imaginative realism, a journey of which he's an enthusiastic participant. As his friend, I'm excited for him, and as his curator, I'm quite pleased.
~ Julie Baroh, June 2016
"The Art of Tenaya Sims" runs through July 2nd at Krab Jab Studio. For sales inquiries please contact Natalia Fedoruk.