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Inmates’ work graces New Hampshire gallery

Shaker wood table (above and below) by Timothy Eldridge, featured with other work at the NHFM gallery in Concord, N.H.

Shaker wood table (above and below) by Timothy Eldridge, featured with other work at the NHFM gallery in Concord, N.H.

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“Crafting a Future – Celebrating 20+ Years of the Prison Outreach Program,” an exhibition coordinated by the New Hampshire Furniture Masters, was featured at the group’s gallery, the Smile Building in Concord, N.H., from Aug. 20 through Oct. 1.

The exhibition featured work by inmates in New Hampshire and Maine state prisons. The selection included tables and desks, a vase, jewelry boxes and more. The pieces from New Hampshire inmates were on loan from private collections, while several pieces from Maine inmates were available for sale.

“This exhibition honors the craft and legacy of fine furniture making and showcases the impact a program like this can have on a person’s self-confidence and self-worth,” the NHFM said in a statement.

Founded in 1999, the Prison Outreach Program (POP) is overseen by the American Furniture Masters Institute and the NHFM. The program educates select inmates on woodworking skills and the art of fine furniture making. Rotating members of the Furniture Masters go behind prison walls to do the teaching.

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Additionally, the NHFM is currently working with the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women to develop a new POP to provide woodworking and skills in preparation for a successful post-incarceration career.

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Miriam Carpenter exhibit

A solo exhibition, “Miriam Carpenter: Shaping the Ethereal”, is scheduled at the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Pfundt Gallery in Doylestown, Pa. from Oct. 9 through March 20, 2022.

Carpenter’s work, which includes sculpture, furniture, prints and drawings, explores the possibilities within natural materials as she seeks to create new forms and solve challenging design problems. Each piece in the exhibit involves complex calculations and an intimate understanding of her chosen material, whether wood or clay, according to the museum.

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Carpenter developed her deep appreciation for materials during the seven years she designed furniture with Mira Nakashima, daughter of woodworker, architect, and furniture maker George Nakashima at his studio in New Hope, Pa. This is her first solo exhibition.

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Editor’s Note: Pieces shown were made by inmates in two states with different rules about last names. We can only publish a last initial for some.

This article was originally published in the October 2021 issue.

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The New Hampshire Furniture Masters are hosting an annual exhibition of work from its Prison Outreach Program (POP) at its Concord, N.H. gallery through Jan. 6.