Santa Monica assemblage artist Gilena Simons was born in North Hollywood, California.  She received a BA in Economics from Mills College, where she founded the Gilena Simons Library Fund, which provides conservation and preservation of the college’s Special Collections of early rare books.  She received her MBA from Pepperdine University.
As an art patron, she has been on the Photography Committee at MOCA since 2005 and has recently joined the Board of Directors at the California Heritage Museum.  Gilena is a passionate collector of contemporary art.
In 2019 her gallery and vintage store TATABA will re-open in its new space, an architecturally restored historic building on Main Street in Santa Monica.
Gilena Simons is an assemblage artist who works with old tiny treasures. She stated that “My work deals with history, memory, heritage and not discarding things.  We hold onto our little treasures.  We may shove them in a drawer but we don’t throw them away.  My art is about bringing out those treasures so you can see them and share them.  I curate and I edit . . to make something beautiful that can be seen every day. That’s where my heart is.”
She began working in assemblage for a simple reason, she attests.  “Easy answer: I’m an artist who can’t draw.  I always knew I was able to put together attractive vignettes.  I didn’t know it had a name – assemblage – until I was already doing it.”  Her magical miniatures are based on honoring once-treasured vintage items, and her commitment to providing new homes for lost or forgotten things.

The Devil

Three of Swords

The King of Swords

Wheel of Fortune

Ace of Cups