The stones of Kimberly Carroll Raber’s carvings are made of alabaster, soapstone, and Italian alabaster. She considers them, “the bones of the earth. ” Her carvings are, in her own words… my meditation and a metaphor for my life. She says; “Carving stone is: excavation, exploration, foundation and structure all come to mind as I work. Digging beneath the surface reveals memories of the past, remnants of a life that once thrived. I find it fascinating that even the tiniest of relics can determine the rise and fall of a civilization. ”
When asked which of her carvings was her favorite, Ms Raber shared one with me that became close to my heart as well, as we spoke. The carving she named Sacred Space; a soapstone carving that depicts the grief she felt when her sister died. Having lost my mother only 3 months prior, the carving spoke to my heart.
The next carving, Shelter, was the next step in the grief process, where instead of the person laying in the middle of the stone in a fetal position, she/he was up in a crouched position. We spoke of the time she will carve a Bone with the inner character in a standing position, fully healed from the grief…and of not being there yet.
In Ms. Raber’s own words, “The pieces I have chosen to exhibit are excavated ‘bones’ of my past and present. They are relics of my struggles, anger, joy, love and peaceful moments. As I carve, I search for truth about myself in order to make sense of my journey, my ‘story’. I realize that all of the answers lie within. My intent is to share my story of being human in hopes of connecting to the whole of life. I am merely a culmination of everyone I have ever met and I carve my life as I experience it. ”
Perhaps the most breath taking carving was Cosmic Vapor. Ms. Raber said it was about hanging on and letting go; it is a beautiful alabaster stone hand that has a vapor emitting from it. Words cannot express the beauty therein; magnificent was the only word I could find to describe the piece.
Two other carving I really liked was Acanthus, which represented water or a canvas and Dorothy the Pelvic Intruder, which represents a cancer, tumor or abnormal growth in a woman’s womb.
Julie Schweitzer-Executive Director took me on a tour of the Art Center, which has an official Monarch Butterfly Garden Habitat run by master gardeners Bob Hill, Penny McGinty and Deborah Farell. The Arts Center also teaches a program in the Harrison county schools combining science, ecology, geography and the arts. Board President, Susan McCain, and Billie Maxine have done a wonderful job decorating the building and redoing the pond by the carriage house.
Linda Morton told me of the architect of Paul Moosemiller and we toured the 3rd floor, viewing years of architectural drawings dating back to the early–mid 1900’s. Mr. Moosemiller architect included that of the Seelbach, the Henry Clay Hotel in Ashland KY, Hampton House on 3rd and York as well as in New York and St. Louis.
Sandy Lee told of the wife of Paul Moosemiller/daughter of Col. John Day, Mary, who went to finishing school, met and became friends with Jane Darwell (Hollywood Actress) known for her roles in Mary Poppins, Grapes of Wrath and Gone with the Wind. It is rumored that Mary’s ghost roams the 2nd floor hall, although she made herself known freely during the Bourbon, BBQ, and Beer Festivities recently.
Although I went to the arts center to view "Bones," this lead to a fun, entertaining, informative night where I met some new friends and possibly an old ghost from the past.
The Arts Center contact information is http://artscouncilsi.org/  Phone # 812.949.4238
The Kimberly Carroll Raber exhibit will be at the Arts Center until November 13th