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Press Release / American Art
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1/22/2004

Lectures, Family Days and Demonstrations Enhance Spring Studio Furniture Exhibition

Media only: Laura Baptiste (202) 275-1595
Amy Mannarino (202) 275-1592
Public only: (202) 633-1000
Web site: http://AmericanArt.si.edu/press


A wide variety of free public programs are planned at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in conjunction with "Right at Home: American Studio Furniture." From elegant and streamlined to bright and bold, the designs in this exhibition highlight the originality, craftsmanship and personalities of studio furniture artists. This exhibition, on view April 2 through Jan. 23, 2005, contains 58 objects by 47 artists and include both functional and purely sculptural pieces.

All programs are free and held at the Renwick Gallery unless otherwise noted. For additional programming and the most current information, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum's Web site at AmericanArt.si.edu.


Distinguished Artist Lecture Series

Distinguished Artist Lecture with Wendell Castle
Sunday, April 25, 3 p.m.

Wendell Castle, an undisputed leader in the studio furniture field, studied industrial design and sculpture before becoming artist-in-residence at the Rochester Institute of Technology School of American Craftsmen almost 20 years ago. His work has won countless awards for its innovative sculptural approach to furniture design. In this illustrated lecture, he discusses the progression of his work while highlighting favorite pieces, including the Renwick Gallery's own "Ghost Clock."


Distinguished Artist Lecture with Kim Schmahmann
Saturday, June 26, 3 p.m.

Schmahmann is a conceptual artist who uses fine furniture as his medium to express social and political ideas. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Schmahmann received a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Natal in South Africa. As a master craftsman, he brings a diverse background and set of influences to his work. This illustrated lecture highlights some of the witty details in the Renwick Gallery's "Bureau of Bureaucracy" as well as some of his current ideas on furniture and art.


llustrated Lectures

Artistic Insights with Andy Buck
Sunday, March 14, 3 p.m.

Buck is a third-generation furniture maker whose work pairs traditional methods and materials with brightly painted surfaces. In this illustrated lecture, Buck focuses on his inspirations as well as his processes for turning ideas into humorous and distinctive finished products. James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Lecture


Illustrated Lecture with Neil Gager
Saturday, April 10, 3 p.m.

What are some of the exotic woods used in contemporary furniture making today? Join Neil Gager of Exotic Lumber, Inc. to discover the sources, varieties and beauty of wood. In this illustrated lecture, Gager brings samples of wood species from around the world, ranging from cocobolo to curly pine to purpleheart and more. Learn about the properties of various wood species and some of their surprising past and present uses.


Artistic Insights with Jacob Cress
Sunday, April 18, 3 p.m.

Cress, a self-taught master craftsman, makes beautiful traditional pieces such as cabinets and desks as well as "animated furniture" like his "Oops!" chair in the Renwick Gallery's permanent collection. He shares the inspiration for his animated pieces and discusses how the process can differ from his more traditional work.


Artistic Insights with Rob Womack
Saturday, April 24, 3 p.m.

Womack, co-owner of Coloratura studio in Richmond, Va. and a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, creates one-of-a-kind, hand-painted furniture, which seems to come alive with his images. His piece "All Found" is a new addition to the Renwick Gallery's permanent collection.


Decorating with Interior Designer Michael Roberson
Sunday, May 2, 3 p.m.

You've bought your piece of studio furniture, so what's next? Join Roberson, owner of Michael Roberson Interior Design in Arlington, Va., to learn how one piece can be a starting point for decorating an entire room. Roberson's insider tips come from more than 20 years of home design experience.


Artistic Insights with Mary Little and Peter Wheeler
Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m.

Little and Wheeler received their master's degrees from London's Royal College of Art. The pair designs furniture using mixed media, a variety of indigenous hardwoods and commissioned fabric from local fiber artists. Little's work focuses on creating one-of-a-kind pieces, while Wheeler designs furniture systems that can be manufactured in large quantities. James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Lecture


Urban Forest Conservation with the Parks & People Foundation
Saturday, May 22, 3 p.m.

Learn more about the urban forest with Guy Hager of the Baltimore-based Parks & People Foundation. This illustrated lecture gives tips on how to conserve and protect trees in your own urban community. Discover some of the foundation's new ideas for using wood waste including making it available to artists and furniture makers.


Stories from the "Antiques Road Show" with J. Michael Flanigan
Sunday, May 23, 3 p.m.

Flanigan, an expert furniture restorer and appraiser, recounts triumphs while on the road with PBS's "Antiques Road Show." Hear about his discoveries and tips on how he approaches furniture appraisal. Note: There will be no furniture appraisal at the program.


Artistic Insights with Jon Sutter
Sunday, June 20, 3 p.m.

Sutter turns disparate materials into fine furniture; "Under Continuous Monitor," part of the Renwick Gallery's permanent collection, combines birch and poplar with concrete and aluminum. Sutter began school as an engineering and physics major before switching to art. His illustrated lecture focuses on how science and art inspire his industrial pieces.


Studio Furniture Family Day
Saturday, June 5, 1 p.m.

Robin Greenstein has been a singer and songwriter for more than 20 years, mixing jazz, folk, pop and blues tunes on the guitar, banjo and ukulele. Greenstein will bring in pieces of a guitar to show how this popular wooden instrument is constructed. In a "hands-on" activity, children can use a variety of materials to design their own furniture.


Furniture Demonstrations

Select Wednesdays and Sundays from April 4–July 21, noon–3 p.m.

Local artists demonstrate various woodworking techniques used to create furniture and answer audience questions. Each demonstration will focus on a different aspect of furniture making. For a schedule, go to AmericanArt.si.edu/calendar.


Public Walk-in Tours

Weekday Tours: Daily at noon
Weekend Tours: Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m.

Tours meet in the lobby beginning on April 2.

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W., near the Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Blue and Orange lines) Metrorail stations. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Public information: (202) 633-1000; (202) 357-1729 (TTY). Recorded information: (202) 275-1500. AmericanArt.si.edu.

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