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Wisconsin museum showcases reclaimed wood

In concert with its contemporary craft focus, Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin is the first museum to host “Urban Wood Encounter: RAM Explores Contemporary Furniture”, an environmentally conscious exhibition of fine furniture. The exhibit, which opened in September and will run through Jan. 3, 2016, offers a collection of furniture and objects made by regional artists who apply their individual creativity and personal interests to wood that is often discarded.

“Crescent Lounge” by Katrina Vonnegut, on display at the “Contemporary Wood Design” exhibit.

The show challenged furniture makers and designers to create inspiring and thoughtful furniture from underutilized natural resources. Rescued from trees that are not harvested for their timber value, this material would otherwise find its way into landfills when it succumbs to age, injury or disease.

Participating artists include Jarrod Beglinger, Robert Andrew Black, Michael Doerr, Fabian Fischer, Kevin Giese, Icon Modern, Mike Jarvi, Joe La Macchia, Tom Loeser, Aaron Malinowski, Erich Moderow, Paul Morrison, Joseph Murphy, Charles Radtke, Keaton Rogers, Anthony Saporiti, Thuy Khuu, Dwayne Sperber and Andrea Yencha.

Walnut chairs by Robert Andrew Black, featured at the Racine Art Museum.

The next generation

“Contemporary Wood Design,” a national exhibition showcasing a new generation of furniture makers, opened at the Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, in September and will run through Jan. 6, 2016.

“Every generation brings fresh perspectives to the fabrication of the shared world,” center director Peter Korn said in a statement. “The aesthetics, materials, methods of production and intended audiences in Contemporary Wood Design reveal a greater sense of social connection and an engagement with commerce that would have been foreign to most craftspeople of my era.”

The exhibition was co-curated by Diana Budds, formerly senior editor at “Dwell” magazine, and Asher Dunn, founder of Studio Dunn in Providence, R.I.

Tom Loeser’s “Dig 23,” a bench made of maple and shovel handles, part of the “Urban Woods Encounter” exhibit.


Messler Gallery. Tel: 207-594-5611.

Racine Art Museum. Tel: 262-638-8300.

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue.

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