Christopher D. Simmons, artist, dies at 50

October 7, 2013

Christopher D. Simmons, an artist whose multimedia work merged photography and painting, and whose images were exhibited at galleries in Washington, Los Angeles and New York City, died Oct. 3 at his home in Alexandria. He was 50.

The cause was an apparent heart attack, said his wife, Laura Simmons.

Mr. Simmons, who visited all seven continents, once said he was inspired by the “grandeur” of scenes of vastness and desolation, particularly the barren landscapes in Antarctica. Other examples of his work depicted the Russian naval fleet in Vladivostok and a graveyard for World War II planes in the Arizona desert.

Christopher DeWitt Simmons was a native of Huntington, N.Y., and a 1990 fine arts graduate of Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He also received a certificate, with a concentration in painting and drawing, from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The museum school awarded him its highest artistic prize, the Boit Award, in his first year.

He settled in the Washington area in 1990 and briefly was an art teacher, truant officer and faculty sponsor for the cheerleading squad at Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Md.

A homemaker since the early 1990s, he coached his daughter’s lacrosse team in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County and, as a parent volunteer, helped expand the Belle Haven Country Club swim team in Fairfax County.

He did fundraising work at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School, an Episcopal preparatory school in Alexandria, and at St. John’s College High School in Washington. His memberships included St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria and Belle Haven Country Club. He had a second home in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Laura McIntosh Simmons, and their two children, Tucker Simmons and Charlotte Simmons, all of Alexandria; his father, Richard D. Simmons, a former president of The Washington Post Co., of Alexandria; and a sister, Robin Turner of Arlington.

— Adam Bernstein

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