Straight From The Heart Exhibition at the Messler Gallery

A Breathtaking Exhibition of Furniture at the Messler Gallery

Straight from the Heart,” a farewell exhibition curated by the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship’s outgoing founder and Executive Director, Peter Korn, has opened at the school’s Messler Gallery in Rockport, ME. The show runs through January 5, 2022 and visitors are most welcome.

Peter has been a furniture maker since 1974. He is the author of Why We Make Things and Why it Matters: The Education of a Craftsman (Godine Publishing, 2013), Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship (Taunton Press, 2003) and The Woodworker’s Guide to Hand Tools (Taunton Press, 1998). Prior to founding the Center in 1992, Peter spent six years as Program Director at Colorado’s Anderson Ranch Arts Center and four years as Adjunct Associate Professor at Drexel University. His award-winning furniture has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums. This exhibition is his homage to mentors and peers whose work he greatly admires, whose friendship has enriched his five-decade career, and whose knowledge and participation have contributed to the success of the Center. It presents superlative pieces made by 17 renowned furniture makers, turners, and sculptors between 1965 and 2021.

“I love this exhibition,” says Korn. “It communicates the spirit, mission, and lineage of the school better than words ever could.”

The four mentors in the show—Art Carpenter, Tage Frid, James Krenov, and Alan Peters—are among the legendary woodworkers for whom Korn was fortunate to serve as a teaching assistant, starting in the 1980s. The twelve peers in the exhibition, all of whom have taught at CFC, are Brian Boggs, Garrett Hack, David Haig, Thomas Hucker, Beth Ireland, Tom Kealy, Silas Kopf, Aled Lewis, Michael Puryear, Chris Pye, Tim Rousseau and David Upfill-Brown. There are also four pieces in the show made by Korn himself between 2005 and 2021.

Peter Korn founded the Center in 1993 as a summer workshop program in a barn behind his house, moved to its present location in 1996, and became a non-profit organization in 1999. In 2001 the Board of Directors launched a successful $2.4 million capital campaign that permitted the school to double its student body, dramatically expand its curriculum and facilities and start a permanent endowment. In 2005, the school added a state-of-the-art woodturning studio. 2012 saw a campaign to raise $3 million in new endowment to fund scholarships, establish a visiting artist program, and improve faculty compensation. The following year the facilities expanded again with the new Whittington Woodshop and the Mattina Proctor Finishing Studio.

In 2021, CFC completed the Education and Impact: Endowing our Future campaign which achieves many educational goals and provides an expanded national role for the Messler Gallery in promoting public appreciation for art and design in wood.

For woodworkers who can’t visit the current exhibition in person, there are images of the pieces and a virtual tour online. Shown here are Cabot Cabinet #1 (2012, cherry, hard maple, leather. 40” x 58” x 24”) by David Upfill-Brown of Gerringong, Australia, and Macaw by Silas Kopf of Northampton, MA. (2020, maple, assorted veneers. 77” x 36” x 16”).