HomeNewsPark Circle Gallery to exhibit works by K. Kim Thomas & Doug McAbee

Park Circle Gallery to exhibit works by K. Kim Thomas & Doug McAbee

Concurrent solo exhibits on display throughout June

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that concurrent solo exhibitions of mixed media assemblages by K. Kim Thomas (Charleston) and drawings and sculptures by Doug McAbee (Laurens, SC) will be on display at Park Circle Gallery from June 5-29, 2024. Thomas will offer a guided tour of her work from 1-2pm on Saturday, June 8, and both artists will host a public closing reception at the gallery on Friday, June 28, from 5:00-7:00pm. Admission is free. 

Plastic Beach – Mixed Media Assemblages by K. Kim Thomas
Charleston-based artist K. Kim Thomas creates works that are a visual discussion around climate change, nature, and our insatiable consumer culture. In manipulating debris through a variety of media – primarily sculpture, installation, and printmaking – she presents the viewer with an everyday object in an unexpected, new form. In her exhibit, Plastic Beach, Thomas presents imagined future relics pieced together from the debris of both the natural environment and our plastic single-use culture. “I am particularly interested in the way these forms mimic human consumption and its relationship to pollution, which spreads over and suffocates the world around us, just as plastics become entangled in the environment,” she explains. Each piece brings with it the narrative associated with its materiality, the juxtaposition of nature and manmade, and challenges the viewer to contemplate their own relationship with these materials. Crocheted plastic shopping bags, prints made by inking and pressing found objects, and sculptures and installations created with materials sourced on neighborhood and beach walks and collected at home and work are displayed together to give clues of what future civilizations may view as artifacts from this current period of consumer culture.

Artist and activist K. Kim Thomas completed her MFA in Studio Art at Memphis College of Art in 2012. Her works have been exhibited in various venues, including at the University of Georgia, Southern Illinois University, Latitude 53 in Alberta, Canada, and Museo del Brigantaggio in Itri, Italy. In 2011, she was selected for a solo exhibition at the Brooks Museum in Memphis, TN, and more recently presented a solo show at the Saul Alexander Gallery in 2023 and exhibited in and curated Recent Remnants, a group show at Summerville’s Public Works Art Center in March 2024. Aside from being a practicing artist, thomas is also a full-time high school art teacher in Summerville, SC.  Learn more about the artist at kkimthomas.com.

It Don’t Cost Nothin’ to Be Nice – Drawings and Sculptures by Doug McAbee
In his exhibit It Don’t Cost Nothin’ To Be Nice, Laurens, SC, based artist Doug McAbee presents a collection of colorful drawings on uniquely shaped wood panels, vibrant hollow-form steel sculptures, and site specific drawings with acrylic paint marker. The result is an immersive opportunity for the viewer to walk through the interior of McAbee’s mind. Characters from McAbee’s imagination create narratives about interpersonal relationships in his ink drawings and steel sculptures.  Even his most abstracted imagery is derived from organic forms with recognizable heads, eyes, and feet.  These characters interact within individual works of art and similarities in image, theme, and color begin to form among various works in the exhibition.  These relationships are further enhanced with the site-specific murals on the gallery’s movable walls.  These murals introduce new characters who jump, play, and share stories with one another and create an environment similar to a life-sized illustrated story. “I was taught the power of laughter and humor by my father, and I seek to channel that power into my creative work,” McAbee explains. “Knowing that art has the power to change how people think, I have chosen to communicate positive and hopeful messages to my audience through my work.”

Doug McAbee learned to weld at age 7. While his imagination was running wild, his father began teaching him practical construction methods with steel. The sense of play and exploration he valued then is still with him as he creates whimsical and organic drawings and sculptures. Doug earned his BA and MFA at Winthrop University, and his work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and is part of numerous private and public collections throughout the US. He currently works as Associate Professor of Art at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. He lives out in the middle of nowhere with his family and their dogs and he creates drawings and sculptures when he’s not teaching. Learn more about the artist at dougmcabee.com.

The Park Circle Gallery is located at 4820 Jenkins Avenue in North Charleston. Admission is free and free street parking is available on Jenkins Avenue in front of the gallery, as well as on the adjacent streets and in parking lots close by. Gallery hours are 11:00am-6:00pm Wednesday-Friday, and Noon-4:00pm on Saturday. For more information about PCG, call 843-637-3565 or email [email protected]. For information on other Cultural Arts programs and artist opportunities, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org.