Presented by Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA)
“Enriching and Connecting our Island Community”

Artist of the Month!

Kara Simons

Kara Simons

Playing with clay and creating pieces inspired by little critters is a passion for September’s Artist of the Month, Kara Simons. She immerses herself in her surroundings, lending a bit of nature to the whimsy of her work. Read more to learn about Kara, what makes her tick, and her poignant views about life on Guemes.

Pen names are normally implemented in the literary world, but Guemes Island artist Kara Simons prefers to use one for her artwork. We are very fortunate this month to have access to the person behind KS Atlas because she’s just starting to share her art publicly. In her words, “It has been sort of against all my grains to even show my work to people, let alone sell it.” If you’ve happened to swing by her studio during the Guemes Island Artist Studio Tour, you’ve not only gotten to take in a magnificent view, but you’ve also gotten a glimpse of Kara’s quirky and fun creations. If her work intrigues you, the Studio Tour is your only opportunity to add a piece to your collection as she doesn’t sell her work anywhere else. When asked if that will change, she replied “I am considering options for growth, but this slow slug hates paperwork!”


Speaking of slugs, they are often an inspiration for her…along with frogs, bugs, snails, moths, skulls, birds of prey, lizards, chipmunks, rabbits, monkeys, and hermit crabs. “I suppose the little animals are what most inspire me. Throw in some plant life and I’m happy.” Clay is her passion, mostly functional ceramics, but the occasional painting may sneak in. These contain lots of color and textures and usually feature animal characters.


Kara spent 20 years working in dentistry and many of the lab skills she learned seamlessly apply to ceramics.  Her latest obsession in the studio has been two-part mold fabrication.  She says, “Failure is my friend, but I have a few that worked out.”  The techniques she learned taking impressions and pouring, trimming, and mounting models of teeth all transfer directly into this process. “I only wish I still had access to some of the cool dental equipment we used.“


She came to Guemes because 14+ years ago she “fell ass over tea kettle in love with some blue eyes living on West Shore Drive ❤️.” Her non artistic endeavors include helping that blue-eyed man, her husband Matt, with his construction company, and making lots of food for her friends and family. She also runs their cute little guesthouse-turned-Airbnb called Raven’s Roost. Kara enjoys surrounding herself with her favorite creatures and plays outside as much as possible.


Guemes Island is a beautiful place to live. Kara said, “Loving Guemes is easy.  Living here is art?  One must accept the challenges and find appreciation in the isolation, and I have found many friends here doing just that – and an inordinate number of them create art! Coincidence? I think not.” She is grateful to live here, for the “awesome souls I’ve met and for all the critters that make me smile on the daily – yes, slugs included!” 


Kara admittedly can be super slow in her processes making art – it brings her joy getting lost in the weeds.  Therefore, she struggles to make a lot of inventory. Her Instagram handle for art is: ks.atlas. She has only put one photo up and hopes to start collecting more there but it feels like “paperwork” to her. “As for now I think I will just keep playing with mud.”


Interested in an Artist’s Page?