Through September 30, Bennington Museum’s exhibit “Signs of the Times: Original Designs by Richard Kime” showcases Kime’s woodcarvings from 1973-80.
Most of Kime’s carvings are simple scenes of Vermonters in their day-to-day lives. One depicts a couple in their living room knitting and loading a stove. Another depicts a woman playing a guitar and singing. “My carvings were of local people” explains Kime, “just typical Vermont scenes that you can relate to, or catching people at their leisure in a realistic setting.”
Other pieces featured in the exhibit are of Renaissance-style portraits and figures, geographic carvings of the Great Lakes and the Mediterranean Sea, and action sports scenes.
Kime wanted to create pieces that no one else had thought of, so he kept his ideas simple. “The only way to show your accomplishments is by doing something others can’t do, for me it was scenes in wood.”
After discovering a knack for art in high school classes, Kime enrolled at Miami-Dade Junior College in Florida as a fine arts major. There he discovered woodcarving, as well as his most recent passion, working with clay.
After graduating, Kime settled in Wilmington, opened a ceramics shop, and began a sign-making business, creating signs for local businesses such as the Vermont House on West Main Street.
In his 40 years living in the area, Kime has been an artistic jack-of-all-trades, using art as his enjoyment and employment, creating pieces he believes others can find use in. He is now beginning a new venture, creating ceramics with both popular and original designs that he hopes to sell. “I’m going back to working with my hands, creating cookware that is both functional and artistic, as well as popular and accessible.” Among Kime’s designs are New England Patriots logos in casserole dishes, and downtown Wilmington scenes for ceramic plates.
Through his entire career, Kime’s woodcarvings showcased work entirely made by hand (with the exception of sanding) using chisels. “I always enjoyed my work, but it’s time for others to see and appreciate the work. That is the only incomplete part of this work.”