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At Texas Southern University, Simms made four sculptures for the campus and completed commissions from California to Nigeria. An accomplished scholar, Simms co-wrote the book Black Art in Houston: The Texas Southern University Experience with Biggers and was awarded two consecutive Fulbright fellowships to study abroad.

His exposure to the British Museum’s collection of Benin and Yoruba art influenced his sculpture and teaching methodology, and he continued his studies of West African art and culture while traveling to Nigeria on a Southern Fellowship grant in 1968. He returned to West Africa in 1973, lecturing at universities in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria; and in 1977, when he participated in Festac ’77, a historic assembly of Pan-African artists.

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