The Furniture Society ended a 10-month search in January by naming David Edgar as its new executive director. Edgar is retired from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as an associate professor of art. He describes himself as a great believer of craft as a discipline and the validity of well-designed and functional objects, and is humbled at the breadth of accomplishments The Furniture Society has made in the world of craft and furniture making.
“I understand that furniture makers are craftspeople of wide diversity and discipline, whether they work in wood, or steel, glass, stone, plastic or other media, so I’m happy to join the furniture side of a discipline I’ve always held a close affection for many years.
Founded in 1996, the society represents a broad cross section of furniture makers, museum and gallery professionals, scholars and others involved with the field of studio furniture. Edgar says his primary goal is to keep the society vibrant, successful and relevant to the field, which is what the society wants in a leader.
“David comes to the organization with a wealth of nonprofit experience. He is forward-thinking and cool under pressure. We are excited to have him at the helm as we move into the future,” says board president Rachel Fuld.
Edgar is currently working with board members in preparing for The Furniture Society’s annual conference June 10-13 at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. The conference will focus on design, craft and commerce in furniture making, with the overall theme “Industrious,” as furniture manufacturing has a strong history in the western part of the state. He is also involved with the ongoing development of the group’s five-year strategic plan.
“Our core programming has been exhibition and conference and publications,” Edgar says. “Our publication, the Furniture Studio Journal, was supported by a major grant that ran out, and we need to make sure to develop the resources to publish it again. We also want to pursue a recently completed strategic plan, which we’ll be posting a summary of on our Web site soon.”
Contact: The Furniture Society, 111 Grovewood Road, Asheville, NC 28804. Tel: 828- 255-1949. www.furnituresociety.org
This article originally appeared in the March 2009 issue.