Artist

J. Paul Fennell

born Beverly, MA 1938
Media - portrait_image_114710.jpg - 90469
Image courtesy of the artist
Born
Beverly, Massachusetts, United States
Nationalities
  • American
Biography

J. Paul Fennell began turning wood as a hobby in the 1970s while working as an engineer on the Apollo space program in California. Largely self-taught, his work focuses on hollow-turned vessels that are often inspired by "the natural world, family, and architecture." His recent work explores surface texture, particularly his "pierced" pieces, in which he cuts out sections of wood to create forms that resemble intricate latticework. Fennell currently resides in Arizona, contributing often to woodturning publications and presenting regularly at local and national woodturning symposia.

Exhibitions

Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism—showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.

Related Books

Six duotone book covers are show with "This Present Moment" in black text
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases American craft like never before. Accompanying a 2022 exhibition of the same name, it features artists’ stories of resilience, methods of activism, and highlights craft’s ability to spark essential conversations about race, gender, and representation. This book marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, the nation’s preeminent center for the enjoyment of American craft. It honors the history of the American studio craft movement while also introducing progressive contemporary narratives.