“Local and organic” is the name of the game in current Charleston trends, so it’s not surprising that the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department has chosen a native Charlestonian whose art has a distinctly environmental message as the new Artist-in-Residence for 2012/2013. That artist is Kristy Bishop, a 2008 College of Charleston Studio Art graduate and professional fiber artist.

What exactly does a fiber artist do, you may ask? This strain of fine art utilizes textiles like yarn, cloth, or even quilts, among other natural, synthetic, or recycled fibers, to create a greater whole. In Bishop’s case and in some of her most recent work, she creates her own color palette by hand-dyeing silk, which she then incorporates with other cut, gathered, and sewn elements. From afar, her art looks like an abstract mosaic of detail. Yet a closer look reveals the subtle organic movements of color and lines that come together to represent the interplay of humans and the natural world. Because the tactile experience is key to Bishop’s art, touching the art is encouraged.

The Artist-in-Residence program plays a pivotal role in the department’s mission to enrich the community through outreach programs like art instruction. As the selected artist, Bishop will lend her art and experiences with residents within the North Charleston city limits through workshops in public schools, senior groups, group homes and other community centers. Art teachers, school liaisons, and community group representatives interested in requesting the free services of the Artist-in-Residence should contact the Department at (843) 740-5854. Requests will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis and should be placed at least two weeks in advance, with residencies completed by the end of May, 2013.

From Aug. 17-28, Bishop’s most recent work, Pinned Down, is on view at Stems, located at 208 Coming Street downtown. In addition, the North Charleston City Gallery will display Bishop’s work through January 2013. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The general public is invited to meet the artist at a free reception at the North Charleston gallery on Jan. 3.

For information on the Artist-in-Residence program and the department’s other programs and events, visit And, while a visit to her exhibit is a must, more information on the artist is available at

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