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In ‘Stitches’: Exhibit features fiber-based political cartoons

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Nov 6, 2020

Fiber artist Carol Williams, left, talks about one of her art pieces with Bonnie Bundy, of Hedgesville, last Saturday. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — While many art galleries have remained closed over the past few months, due to coronavirus-related social distancing concerns, one local gallery recently reopened its doors to the public, with a new exhibit and in a new location.

KimoPics Gallery, owned by photographer Kimo Williams, began making plans to move from 133 West German Street to its current location, in the Entler Hotel, this summer. As Kimo wasn’t ready to curate an exhibit out of his photographs for the new space immediately after it had been secured, his wife, fiber artist Carol Williams, suggested she hold an exhibit of her political cartoon-reminiscent work instead. Kimo readily agreed to her suggestion, and from that, the gallery’s current exhibit, “Stitches,” was born.

“It’s the first exhibit we’ve had in this new space. We figured, since we were already renting the space, I could do a show,” Carol said. “‘Stitches’ is what I’m calling this one, because it’s all fiber and buttons and quilting.”

Carol said she “wanted to do a display before the election,” as all of her fiber art pieces reflect current political and sociological issues, such as immigration, racism and environmentalism. The show will conclude this weekend, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s all political commentary. Everything that I chose to bring in here has to do with what is going on right now in the world,” Carol said. “I don’t even call what I do art — it’s just political cartoons. I know that’s an art form, but it’s not painting in oil and sculpting.

"Stitches" will be open through this weekend, at KimoPics Gallery's new location on the corner of East German Street and Princess Street. Tabitha Johnston

“I’m not here to be used as your punching bag. If you don’t want to hear me say it, then why are you even here? I don’t think I need to say it’s anti-Trump — I don’t think you can do or say anything that doesn’t invite his invasive toxic presence in our life,” Carol said, mentioning she has mostly received positive reviews on the exhibit since it opened at the beginning of October.

According to Carol, being an artist during a pandemic has been a challenging experience, but one that she has overcome. Currently, pieces of her work are on loan for exhibition in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia. She has also found dealing with social distancing guidelines at her Shepherdstown exhibit to be surprisingly easy, thanks to the open layout of the gallery’s new location and decrease in nearby foot traffic.

“I don’t really do this for the money — I do it to share my insight,” Carol said.

To learn more about Carol’s work, visit https://anothercarolwilliams.com/.