Simonette Berry is a New Orleans native, the daughter of two journalists who raised her to appreciate the vibrant culture of the city and express herself through art and writing. As a child, she enjoyed making costumes, drawing, and writing and illustrating her own story books. When she was 7, her grandmother taught her the art of the landscape and opened her eyes to the world of painting. She studied Visual Arts and Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts in high school. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Tulane University, and had the opportunity to study abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University and also to study at Boston University.
She spent her twenties working as a decorative painter and muralist, freelance writer, and a designer and mold-maker at her family's fountain shop, French Fountains. She continued to paint and sculpt throughout this time, and also began making sets for the New Orleans theater community, working with the New Orleans Opera Association, Southern Rep Theater, the Shadowbox Theater, and Fringe Festival. She began working in the film industry in 2012 as a scenic scenic artist, sculptor, and mold maker. She is known in the business for being a classically trained artist and seasoned craftswoman with an energetic work ethic. Simonette is also active in her local film union, IATSE Local 478, where she chairs the Board of Trustees and the Women's Committee.
Simonette describes her fine art style as “Magic Realism,” inspired by the literary style that bears the same name. In addition to drawing ideas from literature, she looks to the artists of many genres for inspiration--surrealism, realism, impressionism, cubism, expressionism, the baroque era, and renaissance and medieval art, and abstract art.
Simonette enjoys painting landscapes, portraits, abstract work, and surreal scenes. In addition to painting in her home studio, she paints plein-air landscapes. She often paints with acrylics when she travels, and is drawn to painting water. She uses a Mardi Gras cup full of water from the river, stream, lake, or sea she’s capturing to mix with her paints. "I try to capture not only what the eye sees but what lies just beneath the fabric of reality," she says. Often her paintings are filled with hidden faces, pictures within pictures, and details that force the viewer to mine and examine their own imagination. "My goal is to create an image that spurs an interaction, a meeting point between our world and other realms."