Maine school faculty show their stuff

55_maine_01"New Work by Faculty," an exhibition of fine furniture and sculpture, will open June 14 at the Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. The exhibition runs through Sept. 10. The 25 artists represented in this exhibition are drawn from the internationally diverse instructors at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.

Granite State exhibition

Through June 5, members of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association (NHFMA) are joining members of the New Hampshire Art Association (NHAA) in the collaborative exhibition "Furniture as Art/Art as Furniture." The exhibition, which features works by 14 furniture masters and 18 NHAA artist members, is on display at the NHAA's Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery in Portsmouth, N.H.

56_maine_02"Furniture as Art/Art as Furniture" will showcase works by furniture masters Ted Blachy, Aurelio Bolognesi, John Cameron, Jeffrey Cooper, David Leach, Wayne Marcoux, Terry Moore, Richard Oedel, Brian Reid, Brian L. Sargent, William Thomas, Peter Turner, Thom Walsh and Leah Woods.

"The furniture masters are delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit alongside fellow artists from across the state," NHFMA chair David Lamb said in a news release. "This exhibition also represents an exciting opportunity for the public in that virtually all of the work is for sale. If you'd like to see some of the best art being done in the state today and potentially add a piece to your collection, 'Furniture as Art/Art as Furniture' is one exhibition you won't want to miss."

The New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association was founded in 1995 as a means of continuing the state's legacy of fine furniture making. Its members are committed to maintaining their craft as a full-time profession by generating public awareness of their works and cultivating an audience for their creations. The members create studio furniture in an array of styles including period, Early American, Shaker, neoclassical, traditional, contemporary and art furniture.

Lamb honored

Master furniture maker David Lamb was recently named New Hampshire's Artist Laureate. Lamb was nominated by Gov. John Lynch and confirmed by the Governor's Executive Council. He will serve in the position through March 2012.

Born in N.H., Lamb grew up at Canterbury Shaker Village, where he was apprenticed to master European cabinetmaker Alejandro de la Cruz, who taught him that being a craftsman is a lifelong commitment. Through the years, he has developed his craft, incorporating various period forms, Shaker sensibilities, classic reinterpretation and contemporary styles into his work.

Lamb is a founding member of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association and his work has won numerous design awards. Lamb hopes to use his position as Artist Laureate to promote the state's fine arts and crafts industry, its legacy of craftsmanship and the supportive environment for self-employed artists.

"David Lamb is a talented artist whose contributions have enriched the New Hampshire arts community," Gov. Lynch said in a press release. "We are fortunate to have David serve as artist laureate where he will have the opportunity to enrich the lives of others both through his art and also as a mentor to our state's emerging artists."

Philly exhibition

The Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia is presenting new works by contemporary studio furniture artists Thomas Hucker and Thomas Huang. The exhibition runs through June 26. Hucker, a well-known studio furniture maker, attended the Program in Artisanry at Boston University, and has subsequently worked in Boston and New York and now owns a studio in Hoboken, N.J.

With a focus on designing and fabricating both functional furniture and sculptural objects, Hucker has been greatly influenced by traditional European and Asian furniture such as Biedermeier and Ming Dynasty, and his aesthetic represents a unique fusion and interpretation of influences, according to a Wexler Gallery press release.

Huang explores both traditional and non-traditional techniques and materials. As functional objects, his works suggest the commonality of our basic human needs. As sculpture, they celebrate the diversity of various materials and the intrinsic qualities these materials contain. Combining bamboo, bronze, rattan, wood, steel and acrylic, his work moves fluidly between studio furniture, contemporary fiber arts and sculpture.

Contacts

Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, 25 Mill St., Rockport, ME 04856. Tel: 207-594-5611. www.woodschool.org

New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association, P.O. Box 5733, Manchester, NH 03108. Tel: 603-898-0242. www.furnituremasters.org

Wexler Gallery, 201 N. 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-923-7030. www.wexlergallery.com

This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue.