MANCHESTER, NH – The Furniture Masters are pleased to present “Three Women: A Contemporary Approach to Furniture Making,” an exhibition of studio furniture by Vivian Beer, Lynn Szymanski, and Leah Woods, three talented female furniture makers working here in the Granite State. The exhibition will be on view at the Furniture Masters’ Gallery, located at 41 South Main Street in Concord, NH, from Feb. 15 through April 9, 2013. An opening reception will be held on Feb. 15 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
“The works these three women have created are stunning examples of the best studio furniture being made today,” NH Furniture Master and Gallery Director Ted Blachly notes.
“They are technically sophisticated and delightfully sculptural. As an organization of professional furniture makers, the Furniture Masters believe it is important to showcase the great work being produced here in New England and beyond. All three of these women have impressive resumes and have exhibited their work nationally. The fact that they have studios and work here in the Granite State gives us cause to celebrate with a showing of their work in our gallery.”
Vivian Beer – The evolution of Beer’s work is intimately tied to her research and exploration of the techniques, industrial processes and cultural associations of metal. Born in Bar Harbor, ME, Beer grew up in a rural setting and developed hand skills as a part of everyday life. She went on to study sculpture and the history of metal working within fine art. She was introduced to the history of decorative arts while working as a production blacksmith and fell in love with contemporary design while in graduate school. Beer has chosen metal for its rich symbolic meaning in each realm. "It can function alternately as ornament, structure, and seduction in the guises of jewelry, sculpture or muscle cars. My most recent work builds on all of these associations. I employ visual cues culled from mass culture and excerpt processes from industry and patterns from the decorative arts to create handmade, one-off objects that manifest the nostalgia of history, the speed of progress and the memory of the human hand."
Lynn Szymanski – Szymanski has been working with wood for over twenty years, following in the footsteps of her grandfather whose tools she still uses daily. Originally trained in architectural millwork, she attended San Diego State University in 1997 to study furniture design with Wendy Maruyama. After receiving her MFA, she moved to the New Hampshire Seacoast where she has exhibited nationally, taught students of all ages, and advocated for arts education. In 2009 she received the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Artist Advancement Grant, an award which allowed her to embark on a new direction in her work. “Inspired by the Modernist language of simplicity, my work focuses on small details, imperfection and nuance,” Szymanski notes. “I strive to bring the ordinary and overlooked to the fore by using the traditional methods and materials of the craftsperson to create simple forms embedded with contemporary ideas about memory and history.” She resides with her husband in Rollinsford, NH near her studio in the Salmon Falls Mill.
Leah Woods - Woods received her MFA in Woodworking/Furniture Design from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2000. While in school she became passionate about the process of designing and building one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, and this has remained her focus. Although Woods has designed and built a range of furniture, over the last several years she has begun concentrating on the expression of a few specific ideas in her work, specifically concepts relating to surprise, mystery, and expectation. Woods explores the integration of these ideas with the forms and functions of cabinets, desks, and seating to create unexpected, provocative environments. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of New Hampshire.
Founded over a decade ago, the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association today enjoys a membership of nearly two dozen craftsmen from across New Hampshire, as well as from Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont, who create studio furniture in an array of styles including Period, Early American, Shaker, Neo-Classical, Traditional, Contemporary and Art Furniture. For additional information on the Association or individual masters, please visit FurnitureMasters.org or contact Lori Ferguson, (603) 566-6368; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: NH Furniture Masters
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