Wood Center Hosting Furniture Designer/Maker Beer

Posted on 2/13/2018 3:05:34 PM

The Wood Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host Vivian Beer, a furniture designer and maker and winner of the 2016 HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge, as an artist-in-residence on February 21 and 22, 2018.

As part of her time at IUP, Beer will present a free presentation, open to the community, on February 21 at 7:00 p.m. in McVitty Auditorium in Sprowls Hall.

Beer has been an invited artist for many residencies, including a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2015, and was included in the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum’s “40 Under 40: Craft Futures” exhibition in 2012. Her work has also been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.

She has had a number of solo and group exhibitions and is in many private collections.

The Wood Center at IUP exists to enhance the woodworking area of the Department of Art in the College of Fine Arts. It was established in 2004 with the purchase of a portable bandsaw mill used to cut lumber from campus trees that were felled as part of the Residential Revival project. This was the first act of the Center’s “Harvest-to-Use” initiative that helped the university receive LEED certification for its new dormitories.

Local logs from downed trees continue to be milled into lumber for use in student and campus projects. The Center embraces the rich Northern Appalachian heritage of abundant natural resources, a solid work ethic, and a hand-crafted aesthetic. Its programming encourages a strong connection to place, a local identity, and the fostering of embodied knowledge and skill.

In May 2016, Wood Center Director BA Harrington and students in her spring 2016 advanced woodworking class produced the Sutton Bench, a bench reflecting the architecture of IUP’s central administration building, Sutton Hall. Working in groups, the students created six prototypes of benches that were judged by 1973 IUP graduate Blane Dessy, who donated the funds for the project and chose the winning Sutton Bench that includes a laser engraved image of the Oak Grove.

In October 2017, students in IUP’s Wood Center collaboratively designed and crafted the award objects for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts, under the supervision of fall 2017 Windgate Artist-in-Residence John Hallett and center director and assistant professor of woodworking BA Harrington. This was the first time in the history of the awards program that students have both developed and created the design for the awards.