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Rhode Island furniture show sees boost in sales

Offering American-made, handcrafted furniture, accessories and art, the 21st annual Rhode Island Fine Furnishings Show was held Nov. 4-6 at the Pawtucket Armory Arts Center in Pawtucket, R.I. Given its timing, show director Karla Little says the show surpassed expectations.

Dwight Sargent sold this dining table and chairs at the Rhode Island Fine Furnishings Show.

“Typically shows do not do well in attendance and sales in an election year. However, we had the same attendance as last year and we had an increase in sales,” Little says.

For example, exhibitor Dwight Sargent of Pompanoosuc Mills in East Thetford, Vt., sold a recently completed live-edge walnut dining table and six chairs to a couple from Newport, R.I.

Fine Furnishings’ events feature a combination of local, regional and national artists and craftsmen exhibiting and selling their work. While there are a variety of products available, the primary category is handcrafted furniture.

Shaker exhibit

The Art Institute of Chicago is hosting “Shakers and Movers: Selections from the Collection of Dr. Thomas and Jan Pavlovic,” an exhibition that celebrates the craft of the Shakers community through this fall.

The exhibit features more than 20 items made by the Shakers in the late 18th and 19th centuries and considers Shakers in the larger context of American furniture production and the artistic innovation that defined the country’s early history, according to the gallery.

Selections from the collection of Dr. Thomas and Jan Pavlovic.
Tom Gallenberg of White Lake, Wis., was a first-time exhibitor at the Rhode Island show.
Matthew Dworman of QLine Design in Kingston, N.H., won the Rhode Island show’s new product debut award.

“For Shakers, work was a form of worship and objects were expressions of their attempt to create heaven on earth. The objects are generously loaned by collectors Thomas and Jan Pavlovic,” the gallery said in a statement.

“Following the arrival of the first Shakers from England in 1774, the group peaked in the mid-19th century, boasting more than 6,000 members from Maine to Kentucky. Though only one Shaker community survives today, the impact of Shakers on American culture has endured, particularly in art and design. The Pavlovics’ collection, passionately assembled over the last 40 years, exemplifies the virtuosic craftsmanship synonymous with this influential utopian religious community.”

Art Institute of Chicago, Gallery 168, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603, United States. www.artic.eduContacts

Fine Furnishings Shows, P.O. Box 11, Tiverton, RI 02878. 401-816-0963.

This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue.

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