Furniture as fine art is the subject of a once-every-other-year show opening on May 26 at the Maude Kerns Art Center, for a one-month run

(Above: A piece of furniture called “Table of Sines and Cosines” offers proof of artist Carol Jackson’s ability to blend the building of fine furniture with her background in mathematics and physics.)

By Randi Bjornstad

It happens only every other year, and 2017 is the lucky number for the 16th biennial “Oregon Made for Interiors” exhibit of art-quality furniture at the Maude Kerns Art Center.

The show includes a wide variety of one-of-a-kind, hand-made chairs, tables, chests and cabinets as well as tapestries and light fixtures, representing the work of 28 Oregon artists.

The opening reception for the exhibit is on Friday, May 26. The show runs through June 23.

Rick Green, whose work has been included in the past two biennial shows, has a piece this year called “Floral Pedestal”

The artists in this year’s show include Eugene furniture maker David Green, whose work has been seen in the two previous biennial exhibits. This year, Green has one piece, “Floral Pedestal,” on display, made of wenge wood — a dark wood with fine light-tan lines or waves that grows in Zaire and other west African countries — as well as bubinga, purple heart, yellow heart and walnut. His inlay uses a bent lamination technique.

A completely different look comes from Carol Jackson, also of Eugene, who has created a series of five tables made of anodized aluminum and a variety

Carol Jackson’s “Pyramic Table” reflects her background in mathematics and physics

of woods, including lacewood, cherry and ebonized ash. Jackson comes to furniture-making with a background in mathematics and physics, and her style reflects the precision of those disciplines. Her work has been seen in the 2009 and 2015 biennials.

“Black and White Stools” by Kayla Thompson, feature stoneware bases and sheepskin tops

One more example of work in the show comes from Kayla Thompson, who is a student in the master of fine arts program at the University of Oregon. Her previous degrees are in sculpture and functional art and ceramics, and her pieces in the show consist of ceramic furniture as well as a series of stools created from stoneware bases with sheepskin seats.

Paintings by local artist Patti McNutt, including “Venice,” accompany the fine-art furniture in the show

Work by an area artist is chosen to set off the style and finish of the furniture. This year’s show features the oil paintings of local artist Patti McNutt, chosen for the exuberance of their fluid brushstrokes and vivid colors. McNutt’s work has been shown often at Maude Kerns through the years.

Sponsors of this year’s show are Nancy Pobanz, herself an artist, and Eugene attorney David Wade.

The jurors who selected the pieces for inclusion in the biennial show are artists Jonathan Jost, Tina Schrager and Mitch Zammarelli.

Oregon Made for Interiors

What: The 16th every-other-year show of furniture and paintings by Oregon artists at the Maude Kerns Art Center

When: May 26 through June 23; opening reception is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 26

Where: 1910 E. 15th Ave., Eugene

Gallery Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 4 p.m. Saturday

Information: 541-345-1571 or online at mkartcenter.org/

Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

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