It’s a special occasion when the Brandon Artist Guild (the BAG) has the opportunity to showcase the artwork of one of its founding members. The event is all the more timely due to last year’s honor: Warren Kimble was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Kimble is Brandon’s best known town booster/activist and resident artist. With his usual passionate approach and hard work, he has invested a major portion of his creative time into the Brandon Artists Guild since its beginnings in 1999.
The upcoming show, House of Cards, features Kimble at his playful best, with a comical and artfully handsome collection of wooden assemblages – a takeoff on kings and queens and playing cards. The sculptures utilize bits and pieces of antique wood, antique factory molds, antiquated kitchen implements, along with old playing cards — sometimes in shadow boxes. When Kimble browses antique shops and auctions, his knowledge and love of old artifacts enables him to identify the perfect item for each fresh creation.
Whereas Kimble followed-up his folk art fame with contemporary issues-driven artwork, in the upcoming September/October House of Cards, the viewer will find a waggish collection of pieces, sometimes quietly droll, sometimes broad with slapstick, all connecting to an ordinary pack of playing cards – and each a work of art. A miniature, Ladies in Waiting, shows a row of tiny wooden shoe/leg forms, in attendance, we presume. It’s Not Good to Be a Queen, made of an ancient-looking farm item, refers to the fate of Queen Marie Antoinette at the guillotine. Some other titles: All the King’s Men, The Royal Flush, The Royal Guard, The Queen Mother, The Palace, The King’s Knave.
Kimble’s art has been the subject of one-person gallery shows in New York and Boston. He remains involved in his alma mater, Syracuse University, where his work was shown most recently in 2008, and he still serves on the Board of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse.
“Contemporary Folk Artist” is how Kimble has been known in the past, however since about 2004 Kimble has branched out into other territories, most notably a series titled “Widows of War,” which was seen at Vermont’s Shelburne Museum during his retrospective there in 2008. As Warren Kimble approaches his 80th birthday, he still works every day with joyful creativity and – oblivious of his role as mentor to many — spreading his enthusiasm to the rest of Brandon’s art community and throughout the State of Vermont.
House of Cards will be on view from September 5 through November 4, at the Brandon Artists Guild, 7 Center St, Brandon, VT. Opening reception 5 to 7 PM on Friday, September 5th. The public is invited. (Information 802 247 4956)