David Simonton moved to North Carolina in 1989 and proceeded to make it his subject: he has now photographed in more than 365 cities, towns, and small rural communities across the state. His photographs have been included in group and solo exhibitions in North Carolina and in juried exhibitions nationwide. Simonton has won numerous awards. Perhaps most notable is the citation he received at the 12th Annual Center Awards Exhibition, sponsored by the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California. An international field of 530 photographers submitted nearly 8,000 images. The exhibition’s juror, Weston Naef, former Curator of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, singled out Simonton’s work for a special Juror Award (Second Prize).
Simonton’s pictures have appeared in Photography Quarterly, The Photo Review, and The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of the Arts in the South. He was a finalist for the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Project Prize (2011) and a semifinalist for the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography (2002, 2004). And he is the recipient of grants and commissions, including two Visual Artist Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council (2000, 2008) and a commission from the North Carolina Museum of Art to photograph the old Polk Youth Center, now demolished, in Raleigh (2000-01).
Simonton began teaching photography in 1992. He was an instructor at the Crafts Center at North Carolina State University (1993-2001) and an adjunct faculty member at Peace College in Raleigh (1997-2009).