P R E S S   R E L E A S E
Fred Kaplan-Mayer
Director of Advancement 
The Center for Art in Wood
141 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia
More Stories To Tell: The Center for Art in Wood "Turns" 30
In 2016, the Center embarks upon the next 30 years ...
The Center for Art in Wood, originally known as the Wood Turning Center, became a nonprofit organization in 1986. Its first public gallery space was located at 501 Vine Street, where it showcased and promoted the virtues and aesthetics of wood turned objects. From around the globe, the Center brings exclusive, groundbreaking works from known and emerging artists to Philadelphia and the region.
To mark its 30th anniversary and its location in the arts and culture district of Old City, the Center is sponsoring a series of ambitious exhibitions and programs during 2016.
Two unique exhibitions kick off the anniversary year.  One is the East Coast premiere of the national, touring show entitled Wendy Maruyama: The wildLIFE Project.  Maruyama built full-scale elephant heads and trunks and other items to emphasize the gory plunder of these magnificent creatures for their ivory tusks and enlist the public's support to stop the plunder.  Running concurrently is a Center-curated exhibit, Beyond the Trees: Dorothy Gill Barnes and Dona Look. Both artists carve, then remove and manipulate the bark of trees that will be destroyed by disease or reclamation. Collectively, the exhibits communicate the urgency of animal kingdom preservation and the beauty and sustainability of natural environments. All works demonstrate the artists' passions, creative ingenuity and reverence for nature.
Extends through April 23, 2016.
Opening in May, the Center-organized exhibition-which also is coming out as a
Concordia Chair by Mira Nakashima
publication--On the Edge of Your Seat: Chairs for the 21st Century, showcases nearly 50 remarkable chairs, stools and benches. By design, this juried exhibition coincides with the annual conference of The Furniture Society in Philadelphia.  Collaborative events will occur in Old City, at the University of the Arts, and around the city.  
The exhibition at the Center runs from May 6 - July 23, 2016
The Furniture Society's Conference runs from June 23 - 25, 2016
"These works and the exquisite, compelling seats that join them are just a small glimpse of the vibrant field of small-scale design and studio furniture production today. They stand as a testament to the ingenuity of the makers and their ability to conjure meaning from material and technique. If they are any indication, the 21st century will be a good one for chairs."
Susie Silbert, Juror, (Curator, historian)
June through October bring events associated with the 21st anniversary of the Center's renowned Windgate ITE International Residency program and exhibition. This acclaimed, one-of-a-kind, residency program sponsors five established artists, a photojournalist and a visiting scholar, all striving to create and exhibit new works gestated during the residency.
As the Center enters its fourth decade as a public venue, under the leadership of Albert LeCoff, the quest to attract new constituents and patrons is ongoing. Visitors to the Center eclipsed the 16,000 mark for the first time in 2015.  Incentives grow to earn new sponsors and members during the anniversary season; the Center is currently engaged in its second year of a three-year challenge grant provided by the Windgate Foundation. The Foundation is generously matching all donations up to $600,000 over the entire period, but donations from new patrons will earn the Center a 2 to 1 match, all to be applied to nonprofit exhibitions and programs.  
Since the Center is a nonprofit museum, gallery and research library, the support of members and sponsors not only ensures free access to exhibitions and resources, but helps the Center meet facility and operational expenses and ensures the sustainability and continuity of cutting edge programming, documentation, and publications.  Albert LeCoff, the Board of Trustees and the staff work proactively with friends, the community, and sponsors to enhance the imagination and mission that distinguishes the Center's history and future.  As the Center launches its 30th anniversary as a 501(c)3, they invite the public to join them to discover art made from wood, and witness the past along with the future during 2016.   
"2016 marks my 40th year promoting public awareness and appreciation of artists working in wood and the art form, and gratitude to many who helped make this happen. My personal practice became a broader vision of encouraging and documenting this diverse field in 1976.  Milestones span from the George School Symposiums in the 1970's; to establishing the Wood Turning Center as a nonprofit with Alan LeCoff in 1986; to organizing traveling exhibitions in the 1990's; moving to a public space in 2000; and updating our name to The Center for Art in Wood and expanding to our current location in the heart of the Old City gallery district in 2011.  Now I am focused on sustainability for the Center and ways to maintain our leadership in promoting art and artists working in wood. The world needs art and the Center asks for your support to keep art in wood in front of the public in the years ahead."   
For information about the Windgate Challenge, please visit:
First Fridays | 5-8PM
Extended hours in the Gerry Lenfest Gallery
and Len Scherock Museum Store
Feb 5 - Apr 23, 2016
Thursday, March 3, 6:00 pm
Artist Reception: Meet Wendy Maruyama and Dorothy Gill Barnes
First Friday | March 4 | 5 - 8 PM. 
Meet artists Wendy Maruyama and Dorothy Gill Barnes
Saturday, March 5, 2016 | 2 - 4:30 PM
Gallery talk with Wendy Maruyama and Dorothy Gill Barnes
--followed by dinner with the artists, trustees and supporters.
Dinner RSVP to fred@centerforartinwood.org .

First Friday | May 6, 5 8PM
Meet the On the Edge of Your Seat artists and book signing
Old City Gallery Crawl Thursday, June 23, 5-8PM
Meet the On the Edge of Your Seat artists and book signing
June 23 - June 26, 2016
UArts, 333 S. Broad Street
Saturday, July 16, 2016, 10AM-4PM
UArts, Anderson Hall, 333 S. Broad Street
August 5 - September 24, 2016

First Friday | August 5 | 5 - 8 PM. 
Meet the artists
Saturday, August 6, 2016 | 2 - 4:30 PM
Gallery talk
--followed by dinner with the artists, trustees and supporters.
Dinner RSVP to fred@centerforartinwood.org .
November 12, 2016, 5 - 8PM
Annual Founders' Fundraiser
Current Exhibition:
Wendy Maruyama: The wildLIFE Project Feb 5 - Apr 23, 2016
The Center presents provocative works by three artists in the Gerry Lenfest Gallery.  Wendy Maruyama: The wildLIFE Project addresses poaching and the illegal ivory trade which has all but decimated the elephant and exemplifies the artist's shift beyond traditional studio craft and education, to advocacy.  Elephants are memorialized in monumental form with sculpted heads ranging from 8 to 12 feet in height, and shrine-like cabinet forms.  All create layers of sensory experience for the viewer as does the use of video, incense and a bronze bell - set to ring throughout the day.
Wendy Maruyama: The WildLIFE Project is organized by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and curated by Elizabeth Kozlowski. The exhibition is made possible through generous support by the Windgate Charitable Foundation.
WildLIFE is complemented by installations from two other renowned artists who work closely with salvaged trees and bark. Dorothy Gill Barnes manipulates the limbs and bark of trees during their growth cycle. In exciting new work, Dorothy utilizes glass and tree elements to create large scale, suspended necklace forms. In contrast, Dona Look weaves and sews white birch bark with silk thread into elegant, sleek vessel forms.
This exhibit runs concurrently with the Dorothy Gill Barnes & Dona Look: Beyond the Trees exhibit.
The Windgate ITE International Residency is a collegial experience in which the resident fellows explore new work through research, exploration and collaboration. The Center for Art in Wood awards seven prestigious fellowships for the annual Windgate ITE International Residency Program. The program selects from an international pool of applicants, one photojournalist, one scholar/educator, and five artists who work either solely in wood or who work with wood in combination with other materials.