The Center for Art in Wood nurtures and promotes the innovation of art in wood through collaborative residencies, exhibitions, education and documentation. The Center also maintains an inspirational collection and a research library to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the art.
What We Do
The Center offers activities from within several different program areas, including the Gerry Lenfest Gallery, the Museum Collection, The Fleur & Charles Bresler Research Library, the Len Scherock Museum Store, and The Earl Powell Artist Research Files.
The Center displays wood art on site and in traveling exhibitions. Our Windgate ITE International Residency Program has involved over 100 international residents as it continues through its third decade. The Museum Collection contains over 1000 objects from around the world, ranging from functional, every-day objects to contemporary sculptures. Our research library consists of over 25,000 images, artists’ files, and books that help preserve the exciting history of wood turning and woodworking and their continuing evolution as a contemporary art form.
Every year, the Center mounts 4-5 exhibitions which serve as the central programming focus during the time of their presentations. For instance, the Center publishes catalogues and books around many exhibitions and offers special events that correspond with each show. The Center comes alive during Old City District‘s notable First Fridays, which are the perfect opportunity for exhibition openings and events.
From the first exhibition Turned Object Show in 1981, which was documented in A Gallery of Turned Objects, to the major publication Emil Milan: Midcentury Master, the Center has maintained a commitment to the documentation of its programs and research. These efforts have taken shape in many forms, from books to digital media and online resources that are available to the public. Visit our publications page, here.
Who We Serve
The Center for Art in Wood has been widely recognized as one of the most valuable resources for the education, preservation and promotion of the field of art made from wood. With every new stage of growth, this recognition broadened and created a subsequently widened audience.
General Public & Members
All programs are available to the general public. The Center’s Gerry Lenfest Gallery and the Museum Collection are available to the public completely free of any admission fee. Other programs the Center offers include symposia, lectures, readings, and group tours. The Center tours major exhibitions to national institutions and is currently touring Explorations in Wood through 2020. The Center’s online presence make its mission available to national and international audiences as well. Individuals from the public become members of the Center to receive benefits and offer ongoing support for operations. Members at various levels enjoy free access to The Fleur & Charles Bresler Research Library and Earl Powel Artist Research Files; discounts to special events and programs; free publications and discounts in the Center’s Museum Store.
The Center is dedicated to promoting artists and their work. Artists create the context from which the Center programs flow and they are the subject of exhibitions, publications, and other major facets of the organization. Artists are a major portion of the audience base as well. The Center’s premier program, the Windgate International ITE Residency Program has developed over 100 international artists throughout the course of the 20-year annual residency. Area working artists and developing student artists have been the audience for many mounted exhibitions and programs, such as Open Studio Day, workshops and classes; as well as the intended audience for the Center’s recurring programs such as the Museum Collection and The Fleur and Charles Bresler Research Library. The organization has a Cambium Artist Membership for artists to benefit from and to support the Center.
Scholars, Students, Researchers & Photojournalists
Education is a vital aspect to the Center’s mission and work. Many of the Resident Fellows who have participated in the Windgate ITE program, since its establishment in 1995, are students and emerging artists. By including a respective spot each year in the residency for a photojournalist and a scholar, the Center impacts the public understanding of art in wood and helps shape the scholarly narrative within the field. Researchers and students regularly visit exhibitions and openings and can explore concepts and techniques in the Museum Collection, Earl Powel Artist Research Files, and The Fleur and Charles Bresler Research Library. Scholars and students also enjoy the Center’s own publications, cataloguing research as well as work from the Center’s exhibitions and Museum Collection.
Collectors and Impresarios
Collectors, impresarios, and art administrators regularly participate in programs; serve on committees; curate exhibitions; and contribute to publications. Items are loaned to and from the Center with other premier institutions’ exhibitions and installations. Collectors frequently purchase art works from the Center, offering revenue support and developing the field of wood art.