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Emerging artists honored at Philly furniture show

Justin Seow from the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard graduate Julia Michalski recently won the emerging artist competition at the 23rd annual Philadelphia Furniture Show.

Justin Seow

The competition, co-hosted by The Furniture Society, began in 2015 to support the next generation of furniture artisans. Seow and Michalski tied for the award, which got them a free both at the show and mentoring from Society members.

Seow is a junior at RISD majoring in furniture design. He works in wood, metal, LEDs, glass, faux fur, rubber and foam.

Michalski has an architecture degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She operates Moosch Design in Newtown, Pa., a woodworking and prototyping workshop for small-scale architectural design, interiors, furniture and product design.

Clark Kellogg, a competition judge and owner of Kellogg Furniture in Houston, noted “Mr. Seow’s ‘Chair from a Third Perspective’ is a wonderfully self-contained thesis on being a first-generation American. The chair makes a clear reference to a traditional Ming Dynasty chair, yet looks forward in a way that is entirely new. And Ms. Michalski’s ‘Library Bench’ balances the natural, slab-edge detail of the material with the simple L-shape form. It is both timeless and brand new.”

Julia Michalski

The other judges were David Short of Edgewood Made in Philadelphia and R. H. Lee of Offerman Woodshop in Los Angeles.

The competition is open to an apprentice, current student or graduate within three years of commencement.

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This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue.

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