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.