Master craftsmen’s elegant chairs grace gallery exhibit
The temptation to sit down is, admittedly, strong. All those chairs, all empty, their well-constructed frames, curves and ample cushions practically begging to be tried out. But if you can resist the Goldilocks urge (and you should), you may see these ordinary household fixtures in a new way.
“It’s kind of like a dinner party, where you invite people from all walks of life to get together,” said Ted Blachly, who organized the “Just Chairs” exhibit now on display in the New Hampshire Furniture Masters gallery. “The chair is a common object but it takes so many different forms.”
The small size of the gallery, which sits at the edge of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce lobby on 49. S. Main St., lends itself well to such a narrowly focused exhibit. Lined up side by side around the bright space as though prepared for a game of musical chairs, the pieces exude a collective comfort while their myriad details vie for the eye’s attention.
The exhibit includes pieces by current members of the Furniture Masters Association as well as members of other woodworking communities and a few select pieces by renowned craftsmen such as George Nakashima. The styles run the gamut from the stately to the playful, from Tom McLaughlin’s mahogany Queen Anne chair to Jon Brooks’s gangly, squiggle-spattered chair.
Blachly, whose own contribution is a sleek desk chair with a black leather cushion, is fond of a piece by Walker Weed, a recent recipient of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Weed made eight chairs last year at the age of 94.
“It’s quite inspiring,” Blachly said.
For those in need of inspiration, an opening reception will be held tomorrow evening from 5 to 7 p.m. in conjunction with the quarterly Art Concord open gallery tour. The exhibit will remain on display through June 11.
Several of the chairs are for sale, while others can be ordered. A few are on loan from private collections. None, however, are for sitting upon. Thankfully, there’s a cozy sitting area on the other side of the lobby.