Saturday, August 25, 2012

BENNINGTON: Richard Kime at the Bennington Museum

Signs of the Times: Original Designs by Richard Kime

On view through September 30 in the Regional Artists Gallery at the Bennington Museum is Signs of the Times: Original Designs by Richard Kime. Visit the Bennington Museum on Thursday, August 30 and Thursday, September 20 from 10 am to 1 pm and meet the artist as he works on some creative projects in the lobby.  He will be available to speak with visitors at these times.

Kime took an early interest in art with private lessons in drawing and painting.  He later attended Miami Dade Jr. College and Florida State University where he majored in Fine Art.  Upon graduation Kime settled in Wilmington, Vermont where he has been self- employed as an artist and sign painter since 1972.  This exhibition features a selection of hand-carved and painted low relief plaques executed in cherry and hard rock maple from 1973-1979, a sign commissioned for a local inn created in 1981, and few shadowbox painted wood collages, in rock maple, cherry burl and ash, executed between 1996 and 1998.

The earlier low relief panels, which comprise the majority of this exhibition, reflect Kime’s interest in art history (Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Madonna), the graphic possibilities of maps (Vermont, Great Lakes and Mediterranean Sea), the cultural atmosphere of rural Vermont in the 1970s (Maris, Vermont, Mr. Zig-Zag, and Cabin), and the skills and consummate craftsmanship the artist gained as a professional sign maker. In many ways Kime’s work extends the tradition of early nineteenth century American folk art, similar to the largely anonymous makers of tavern signs from that period which extended into the late twentieth century.

Kime is currently engaged in the design and production of a line of ceramic cookware designs slip cast from hand carved plaster molds. If you are interested in learning more about the artist's work or discussing the possibility of personalized commissions you can contact the artist at

The Bennington Museum, located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington has the largest public collection of Grandma Moses paintings in the world as well as the largest collection of 19th century Bennington pottery.  In the other nine galleries, the museum presents a 1924 Wasp Touring Car, one of only twenty produced, military artifacts, one of the earliest ‘stars and stripes’ in existence, fine and decorative arts and more.   On view through October 30, Rockwell Kent's "Egypt": Shadow and Light in Vermont, the first exhibit to focus on Kent’s life and work in Vermont, 1919-1925.  The museum is open every day July through October, 10 am to 5 pm.  Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18.  Admission is never charged for younger students or to visit the museum shop.  Visit the museum’s website or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Images: Richard Kime holding his hand-carved rock maple plaque Van Gogh's Sunflowers; Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Spades, 1975,  Hand-carved and painted rock maple