Furniture Society to gather near Boston

16_fsc_01Annual June conference will take place at MIT and include a focus on the area's cultural richness and influence

The Furniture Society expects about 400 attendees to attend its 2010 conference, which runs June 16-19 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. The turnout runs the gamut of furniture gurus, including designers and makers, collectors, educators and curators. The group will take the time to analyze and discuss the role of furniture in today's society, as well as the historical context and future of contemporary furniture.

The Boston destination was highly desirable by the society's conference board because of its cultural richness, says Gail Fredell, director of programs and development.

16_fsc_02"The galleries, museums and other great educational institutions in the city will greatly enhance the conference proceedings taking place on the MIT campus. Boston has a history of being at the hub of the contemporary furniture movement for many recent decades," says Fredell.

The conference theme, "Fusions: Minds & Hands Shaping Our Future," will focus specifically on the fluid relationships between mind and hand, tool and material, maker and client, technique and theory.

Keynote speaker Ray Magliozzi, host of "Car Talk," on National Public Radio, will address the group on the first day. An accomplished woodworker, Magliozzi graduated from MIT in the 1970s.

This year's exhibitions will include Outdoor Furniture, a juried exhibition featuring work from select members; Six Degrees of Separation, featuring juried work from select New England members; Faculty Selects, a gathering of educators' top student picks; and the Members Gallery, open for all members to display their creations.

In addition, nearby Gallery Naga will show the work of Jenna Goldberg; the Society of Arts and Crafts will present the exhibit, "Modes of Making: Contemporary Studio Furniture,"; and MIT will have an exhibition of student work.

The Furniture Society will also present its Award of Distinction to John Cederquist of Capistrano Beach, Calif., whose work is featured in the Franklin Parrasch Gallery in New York.

16_fsc_03"John Cederquist is somebody who has very strong personal direction in his work. It's impeccably executed and he has been at it for a really long time. He's produced a stellar body of work and has exhibited all over the country and at major gallery exhibitions for his whole career. In that sense, he's a really outstanding artist and furniture maker, within the body of contemporary studio furniture makers," says Fredell.

Ultimately, the whole purpose of the conference is to gather makers and allow them to interact with their colleagues, says Fredell.

"It's that exchange of ideas that is the ultimate value of the conference - networking is a big part of it. A lot of people come away from conferences very inspired to look at their work in new ways."

Registration is currently open. For information, call 828-255-1949 or visit www.furnituresociety.org.

This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue.