Desire'e Simpson, Εd.D

Dr. Desire’e Simpson is artist, designer and educator. She is founder of LiveArts Studio, a non-profit, community-based art program located in Gary, IN. Her experience as an artist is vast. Her artistry takes shape in the form of whimisical abstract  two- and three-dimensional works in mosaics, hand-painted chairs, clothing, paintings, sculpture and more. Dr. Simpson began her art and design career while completing her BFA in Interior Architecture and Design at Parsons at the American University in  Paris, in France. She worked as a freelance designer there and then later in Chicago, IL, her home town. After completing her undergraduate degree she served as a designer in the Peace Corps’ Small Entreprener Development Program in the Domincan Republic. There she helped local artisans perfect the quality of their craft products, expand their markets locally and internationally, and helped them develop their marketing strategies. Inspired by her service there, Dr. Simpson developed a similar program model that would help art enthusists in underserved communities in the United States use their artistic interests to become entrepreneurs. Combining her passion of art and design with education, LiveArts Studio was created.

Dr. Simpson holds a MSED in Occuapational Education from Chicago State University, and an Ed.D in Art Education from the University of Illiniois at Urbana-Champaign. She has over 20 years teaching experience levels K-16 and is a licensed art educator in Indiana and Illinois. She has served as adjunct faculty at universities in Illinois and Indiana as well. In addition, she is a retired Sergeant Major from the U.S. Army Reserves.

Dr. Simpson is passionate about art – both how others create it, and the processes employed in its making. In her own work, she focuses on the abstract. The abstract, representational linear, and curvilenear quality of her work is simple, sophisticated and stylized.


Artist Statement

“I view my art work as an evolving process of visual movement, empahsizing line, edge, texture and expressive energy. When combined, they produce shape and form. The whimsy, flow, and rhythm found in my work are diverse yet reoccurring; they are my signature. The expressive pieces I create illustrate emotion and energy – creating shapely abstract forms, fun forms and fantastic fluid movement.”

Shelley Hermes

Shelley Hermes was born in Gary and has been a resident to Northwest Indiana her whole life. She found her calling as an artist at the tender age of five, and followed her passion to the American Academy of Art in Chicago after graduation from Merrillville High School. She went on to receive her BA in Fine Arts at Indiana University Northwest with a desire to teach art. With such a desire, she has currently focused her teaching career at Live Arts Studio. Shelley seeks to obtaining her Masters in Fine Art in the near future. Her dedication to helping people learn and enjoy art has been a lifelong goal of hers since elementary school. She is quite versatile as an artist. Projects such as completing a painting of a 16th Century Map of the World on a ceiling, to creating abstracts in oil paint, and realistic portraits in graphite pencil for personal enjoyment, are her passion. She currently has artwork on display at Paul Henry's Art Gallery in Hammond, IN, and is a Board Member for a local artist's group, South Lake Artists Co-op.

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Contact us: 4760 Broadway, Gary, IN, 46408 | Phone: 219-221-8211 | email: