How it Started and How it’s Going, a speaker series with collectors. We’ll dive into their collections and learn about how they got started and why; we’ll hear what attracts them to certain pieces and see some of their favorite works. We will also discuss what makes someone a collector of art and how to start your own collection. Our first talk will feature Collector, Woodturner, and retired Educator Joe Seltzer.
Don’t miss this special glimpse into a collection!
Joe Seltzer is a woodturner and avid collector of wood art. He first noticed woodturning in 1985 when he went to the Renwick to see the Jacobson Collection. He began to go to local craft shows and shortly thereafter, decided to limit his collection to pieces less than 7 inches in height or diameter. In about 1988 he read a newspaper article about Albert LeCoff, tracked him down, and went to visit. From that and many subsequent interactions, he began to learn about the field. He started to go to national craft shows and conferences and met many artists and collectors who became friends. He is a founding Board Member of the Collectors of Wood Art (CWA), was on the Board for 12 years, including a term as President. He helped organize two conferences presented jointly by the CWA and the Wood Turning Center (now CAW).
In 1998, Joe became involved with the annual local collaborative conference called Echo Lake and has been on the steering committee and attended ever since. He helped organize a tenth anniversary retrospective exhibition held at CAW and a twentieth-anniversary retrospective exhibit at New Hope Arts.
His collection now includes over 1200 objects, all of which except about two dozen fit the 7-inch criteria.
Kristin LeVier, photo by Jonathan Billing
Jena Gilbert-Merrill, photo by Emily Bach
Join us to celebrate the fifth year of the Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award. Supported by an anonymous donor, this award is presented annually to an emerging or mid-career artist whose work unites quality of craftsmanship and respect for material, for which renowned master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003) is known. The 2020 recipient for the Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award is Kristin LeVier, Moscow, ID.
In commemoration of the 2020 Stocksdale Award, Jena Gilbert-Merrill, a current Lois F. McNeil Fellow in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, will present a lecture on LeVier and renowned master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913 – 2003). Gilbert-Merrill, whose research interest is focused on the history and experience of empathy-embedded objects and materials, will discuss LeVier’s work in the context of Stocksdale’s impact and legacy, including his quality of craftsmanship, respect for materials, commitment to human rights, and artistic innovation in the material of wood.
The Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award was launched by the Center for Art in Wood in 2016 to honor Stocksdale’s legacy while linking his work with a new generation of artists and makers who work in the material of wood. It is awarded to a selected artist, emerging or established, whose work embodies reverence for materials and dedication to craftsmanship-values that resonate throughout Stocksdale’s body of work.
The artist is granted a prize of $1,000. Another $500 is allocated for documentation to an honorarium to be given to a research fellow, who delivers a lecture at a program organized by the Center in partnership with Winterthur Museum and its Research Fellowship Program in American Material Culture. This lecture will examine the laureate’s work in the context of the values and characteristics inherent in Bob’s body of work. The inaugural award recipient was Jakob Weissflog; the 2017 winner was Dean Pulver; the 2018 laureate was Ben Strear and the 2019 awardee was Humira Abid.
Beginning in 2019, the Stocksdale Award is adjudicated by a committee. The esteemed members of this committee are: Christine Knoke, Deputy Director of the Mingei International Museum; Michael Monroe, Director Emeritus of Bellevue Arts Museum and the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Michael Puryear, artist, woodworker, and furniture maker; Kevin Wallace, Executive Director of the Beatrice Wood Foundation; and Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Artistic Director of the Center for Art in Wood.
Join us for an evening with Don Miller, a woodworker, luthier, and educator; Mi-Kyoung Lee, Professor and Program Director of Craft+Material Studies at the University of the Arts; and two of their former students, Joong Han Bae and Nick Flaherty. We’ll talk about the fundamentals of building a chair, and—perhaps more importantly—how learning a skill impacts our own growth and understanding of the object as an extension of the physical and metaphysical body.
Don Miller is a Philadelphia-based woodworker and educator. He holds an MFA in 3D Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied musical instrument design at London College of Furniture. After 14 years of teaching at The University of the Arts, Miller retired as an Associate Professor from Crafts & Material Studies Program. He has participated in residencies in Sweden and South Korea. He has numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally including the Mulvane Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, Center for Craft, Seokdang Art Museum, in Korea, Steneby Skolan and Rohska Museey in Sweden. He was a contributing writer for the recent publication Craft Time in Craft Capital, written by Glen Adamson, to celebrate Contemporary Crafts and its history in Philadelphia. He makes objects, both contemplative and functional, working at the intersection of material, process and history. He inhabits a workshop in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Mi-Kyoung Lee has been Director of the Craft and Material Studies Program since 2016, and Professor of Fibers/Textiles since 2003 at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She received her BFA from Dong-A University in Korea, and earned two master’s degrees; an MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from University of the Arts; and an MFA in Fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Arts. Lee has participated in numerous solo exhibitions, lectures as well as curatorial, publishing, theater, and collaborative projects with notable venues like the Arizona Art Museum, Cranbrook Museum of Art, Reading Public Museum, Painted Bride Art Center, SOFA in New York and Chicago, Busan Metropolitan Museum, Espace de Tisserands, International Fiber Art Fair in Seoul, Beijing International Fiber Biennale, and the 8th Beijing International Visual Art Biennale. Lee has served as a Foreign Expert from the School of Art and Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, and as an Advisory Board member for the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia since 2019.
Joonghan Bae is a 31-year-old artist and designer based in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He was born in Seoul and moved to Philadelphia in 2010, where he studied fine art and woodworking. He then moved to Bloomfield Hills to attend Cranbrook Academy of Art and received an MFA in 3D Design in 2020. He takes inspiration from nature, man-made structures, and fantasy while playing with the boundaries between form and function. Bae grew up in a house full of Suseok. Suseok is a Korean traditional form of art centered around collecting stones, which his grandfather avidly practiced. He remembers the visceral feeling of the stones and how they were both comforting and inspired his imagination. As a son of an architect/ engineer, he appreciates the collective human mind that allows us to create great man-made structures. With these legacies, many of his works explore the emotional response to nature, fantasy, and the beauty of human reason.
Nick Flaherty is a woodworker, woodturner and carpenter living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended the fine woodworking program at Bucks County Community College before receiving his BFA from the University of the Arts in 2019. He has received numerous Windgate Foundation awards and scholarships and has participated in residencies at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Penland School of Crafts. He was in the midst of plotting and seamlessly executing his global takeover when the pandemic halted his plans. He currently works as a residential carpenter, incorporating his fine woodworking skills directly into clients homes.
Join us for a virtual gallery talk with the inaugural Winter Residency Fellow Colin Pezzano. The residency is designed for artists in Greater Philadelphia who work in the medium of wood and is a collaboration between the Center for Art in Wood and NextFab. An exhibition of the work created over the two-month-long program will be presented at the NextFab North Philadelphia location.
Join us for a discussion with Artist Tom Loeser and Guest Curator Glenn Adamson on the exhibition Please, Please, Please. We’ll talk about Loeser’s imaginative approach to furniture and ponder the question: If the furniture we sit on every day were totally different, would our lives be different, too?
Photo by: Lenore Tawney
If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? Gord thinks not.
Join us for a talk with Toronto artist Gord Peteran and hear his thoughts about art, design, craft, sculpture and furniture. While having completed hundreds of private, corporate and public commissions, he has also lectured and exhibited extensively. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s retrospective on Peteran toured nine museums across the United States. Two books have been published on his work and he is included in many private and museum collections, including University of Toronto Art Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Royal Ontario Museum. He is a professor at OCAD University in Toronto.
Felicia Francine Dean, US & Artist Fellow, ITE 2017
Morgan Hill, US & Artist Fellow, ITE 2018
Todd Hoyer, US & Artist Fellow, ITE 1995
Yuri Kobayashi, Japan/US & Artist Fellow, ITE 2014
Hayley Smith, UK/US & Artist Fellow, ITE 1995
Moderator: Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Artistic Director of the Center for Art in Wood
Join us for a panel discussion featuring Windgate ITE alumni. Founded in 1995, the Windgate International Turning Exchange (ITE) is a uniquely collaborative arts residency program. For two summer months, artists and researchers from around the world live, work, ideate, and create together in the clamorous center of Philadelphia. Together, they share knowledge and skill, but also form lasting bonds that extend beyond the residency. During this tumultuous time, breakthroughs, intense bursts of creativity, material and conceptual experimentations, and collaborations occur. Significantly, this singular place-based experience engages a wide community, beyond the participating fellows—from children enjoying interactive and touchable works in the culminating exhibition of residency work, to collectors seeking to expand their art holdings.
The Center for Art in Wood is proud to present the Young Artist Speaker Series. Each semester a young artist is asked to share their work and speak about the transition from academia to becoming an independent artist. The fourth installment in the series features artist Ellie Richards and took place virtually on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Richards discusses her experiences in developing her career, extensive travels, and the connections and relationships that are created during a residency. Ellie Richards looks to the tradition of both woodworking and the readymade to create eclectic assemblage, installation, and objects exploring intersections of labor and leisure. She has traveled extensively to investigate the role play and improvisation have on the artistic process and will be a 3 year Resident Artist at Penland School of Crafts 2020-2023.
You might be allergic to cats. You might not be a cat person. (Yet.) But once you've been beckoned inside, the chances are good that you'll decide to stay a while. Welcome to Catland.
Design expert, arts writer, and cat aficionado Sarah Archer has just released her latest book, Catland, an exploration into the phenomenon of Japanese cat culture. In her Wood Shed talk, Sarah will reveal the wood baskets and furniture that comprise a highly specialized material culture aimed at accommodating the cats of Japan. This is a don't-miss experience!
The Center spent an evening with Robert Rising, aka BlackLumberjack, the founder of NYCITYSLAB and creator and host of the Instagram talk show, Conversations with BlackLumberjack. During this talk, Robert shared his woodworking journey, why he is a vegetarian, and who his favorite guest has been on his IG TV series.
Robert Rising operates NYCITYSLAB, a company dedicated to saving fallen tress and rescuing and recycling beautiful wood slabs from destruction and waste. NYCITYSLAB transforms every last piece into works of masterful craftsmanship and function for a range of clients, as well as custom-designed projects. Robert is a woodworker, environmentalist, entrepreneur, vegetarian, designer, builder, and restorer of antiques. In 2004, he set out to build his own house out of local wood. After a successful but difficult search, he decided to continue on, and help others to find quality, local wood in New York City.
On the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, join us for a panel discussion with women who are leading the woodturning field. Panelists will discuss how the landscape of the art form is changing, share their experiences, and speak on what needs to happen to foster and support equity and inclusion in the field. Panelists: Suzanne Kahn, Merryll Saylan, Betty Scarpino, and Kim Winkle.
The Center for Art in Wood hosted an artist talk with woodworking celebrity Roy Underhill. Roy Underhill is an American woodworker and television show host. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he was the first master housewright at the Colonial Williamsburg reconstruction. Since 1979, he has been the host of the PBS series The Woodwright's Shop. Along with This Old House, which debuted the same year, it is the longest running PBS "how-to" show.
Underhill was introduced to traditional woodworking by a sister who worked at the Smithsonian Institution. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a degree in Theater. In the early 1970s, Roy and his wife moved to Colorado to form Homestead Arts, an acting studio, and then on to a remote area of New Mexico where traditional woodworking was one of the few means of survival.
In the late 1970s, Roy moved back to North Carolina and studied at Duke University, pursuing a multi-disciplinary course of study including engineering, forestry, and history; he was subsequently awarded a Master of Forestry in 1977. At the birth of his first daughter, he approached the UNC Center for Public Television with an idea about a traditional woodworking show. Initially rejected, the idea was finally accepted; in 1979, filming began on The Woodwright's Shop at West Point on the Eno in Durham, NC. Around the same time, he also took the job as master housewright and later director of interpretive development for Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
More recently, Roy also works as a communications consultant. He is the author of several books, including The Woodwright's Eclectic Workshop and Woodwright's Shop: A Practical Guide to Traditional Woodcraft. In 2011 he gave a presentation at TEDx Raleigh, sharing the value of ingenuity and living in the present. Roy has started teaching traditional woodworking in a classroom environment he calls "The Woodwright's School". As of January 2014, his classroom is located in Pittsboro, NC. Many hand-tool aficionados hold Roy Underhill in extremely high regard and may refer to him as "St. Roy."
Join us to celebrate the fourth year of the Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award. Supported by an anonymous donor, this award is presented annually to an emerging or mid-career artist whose work unites quality of craftsmanship and respect for material, for which renowned master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003) is known. The 2019 recipient for the Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award is Humaira Abid of Seattle, WA.
In commemoration of the 2019 Stocksdale Award, Emily Whitted, a current Lois F. McNeil Fellow in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, will present a lecture on Abid and renowned master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003). Whitted, whose research interest includes the intersections of craft, gender, and social justice, will discuss Abid's work in the context of the values embodied by Stocksdale, among them his quality of craftsmanship, respect for materials, and artistic innovation in the material of wood, as well as his commitment to pacifism.
What is the community of a tree? Are woodworkers part of it? What will happen if I, as a woodworker, place myself in a deeper relationship to the forest? Interdisciplinary artist and woodworker Gina Siepel discusses her ongoing work, To Understand a Tree, currently in process in the forest of western Massachusetts. To Understand a Tree is inspired by a desire to contemplate a living forest tree and its immediate habitat from the perspective of a woodworker, directly engaging both the forest ecosystem and the furniture making process. In collaboration with naturalist Kate Wellspring and others, Siepel is studying a single red oak tree, integrating artistic and scientific methodologies. Forests are complex, interconnected systems, and in that spirit, To Understand a Tree connects furniture and object making to questions of forest ecology, climate change, and resource extraction.
Gina Siepel is an interdisciplinary artist and woodworker based in Greenfield, MA. Her work explores cultural understandings of nature, gender, and American history, through the production of objects, installations, and collaborative experiments in public spaces. Past exhibitions include the DeCordova Museum, the Colby Museum of Art, Vox Populi Gallery, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Marlboro College, Smith College, Flux Factory, and the Center for Art in Wood. Gina has received funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, and the Puffin Foundation, and has been an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan, Mildred's Lane, Sculpture Space, and Hewnoaks. Gina holds a BFA from the School of Art + Design at SUNY Purchase, an MFA from the Maine College of Art, and studied woodworking at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. In addition, Gina has worked extensively in the field of theatrical scenic design and construction, designing and building projects all over New York City and the northeast. Gina currently teaches studio art at Mount Holyoke College, and is a Visiting Artist at the Smith College Macleish Field Station.
Erez Nevi Pana takes an investigative and human-centered approach to both raw and discarded materials, excavating their properties and exposing and extracting the hidden, often toxic or destructive, byproducts of industrial manufacture. His egalitarian attitude toward materials and makers brings poetry to objects of uncanny beauty—pure collaborations between nature and culture, otherworldly but borne of the earth.
Reclaimed wood is the underlying structure for his salt objects. Nevi Pana eschews glue, sanding papers, and most varnishes, which are made from animal-based ingredients. Lathe-turned and bound, the wooden scaffolds are subjected to some of the most unique phenomena of nature.
In this don't-miss talk, Nevi Pana will share insights into his work, his thoughtful research into materials and processes, and his seminal thinking in Vegan Design as a curative approach to human-caused natural devastation.
This panel discussion features artists Ursula von Rydingsvard and Vivian Chiu, along with Daniel Traub, the director of the film Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own; it is moderated by Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Artistic Director of the Center for Art in Wood. Join us for this candid discussion revealing von Rydingsvard's engagement with wood, the development of her sculptural process, her monumental forms, her studio practice—for which 2018 Windgate ITE Fellow Chiu worked as an assistant—and the behind-the-scenes making of the film.
Join us for a panel discussion with Searching for Home artist Humaira Abid, Dana Gold of Nationalities Service Center, Anne Ishii of Asian Arts Initiative, and Hazami Sayed of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture. We'll discuss the contributions made by immigrants to the Philadelphia's rich culture, and connect to the situation faced by immigrants and refugees during COVID-19 and how the pandemic made it easy to overlook the vulnerable and unprotected.
Summer just isn't summer without baseball! Even though we can't go to a game the Center is bringing an evening in the stands to you with artist Mark Sfirri. Sfirri will share his love of the game and how it's influenced his work. Following the talk stay for a baseball-themed happy hour where we'll share some of our favorite highlights. Get your game gear and your hot dogs and peanuts ready for this don't miss virtual event!
The Center for Art in Wood had a lunch break with contemporary jewelry artist Dania Chelminsky. Here Dania talk about her childhood immigration to Israel from Mexico City and how this experience turned her focus to the body and the material of wood as she pursued a career in metalsmithing.
Dania Chelminsky was born in Mexico City in 1961 and has lived in Israel since 1970. She studied sciences, metalworking, design for the performing arts; in 2018, she received her MA in Integrated Design at the Holon Institute of Technology. From 1988 to 2000, she designed jewelry at her own studio and shop in Tel Aviv. After that, she moved to a studio and started to investigate conceptual directions in the creation of jewelry.
In her work, she combines contrasting materials, mixing organic with synthetic, hard with soft, and crafted with found objects. Intrigued by the points at which these materials intersect, Chelminsky uses traditional metalsmithing techniques to emphasize moments of tension. Her juxtaposition of such disparate elements allows her to tell a story with each of her pieces, inspiring a moment of thought about the way we relate to the world that surrounds us.
Her works have been profiled in international publications such as Metalsmith, Portfolio, Domus, and Lark Books. She has exhibited her work extensively throughout the world, with multiple solo exhibitions presented at Periscope Gallery, Tel Aviv, as well as at Museo Lazaro Galdiano, Madrid. She has also participated in many group exhibitions, including the Tel Aviv Biennial, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv; Alliages Gallery, SHMUCK, Munich, and the Alliages collection, Museum Espace Solidor, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France; the Islamic Art Museum, Jerusalem; the Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece; and Benedikt Aichele Atellier, Paris, France.
Take a virtual trip of delight and discovery along the Appalachian Trail with woodcarver and hiker Jim Tabor. Jim will talk about his love of spoon carving, stories from the Trail, and what it means to be a "Trail Angel."
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