2021 Smithsonian Visionary Awards recognize artists who work with wood

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The 2021 Smithsonian Visionary Award will be presented to two wood artists: David Ellsworth for his wood-engineered objects and Michael Hurwitz for his wood furniture. Their selections were announced today, March 10, by Nancy Newkirk, chair of the Smithsonian Commission on Women.

Ellsworth and Hurwitz will be presented with the award during the Smithsonian Craft Show Preview Night Benefit on Wednesday, October 27th.Established in 2014 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Visionary Award is presented annually to an American artist who is considered by experts in their field to have achieved the pinnacle of sculptural art and design in their individual medium. . Previous recipients include Wendell Castle, Albert Paley, Toots Zinski, Dale Chihuly, Faith Ringgold, Joyce J. Scott, and Patti Walasina.

Ellsworth is known for his significant contributions to the field of wood turning through his development of elaborate thin-walled hollow vessels, new bending tools for turning, and his generous and inspiring work as a teacher. Ellsworth, a founding member of the American Woodturners Association, cites his main influences as “the energy and beauty of Native American pottery, the texture, tone, monumental architecture of the American Southwest, and the natural materiality of wood.” “Beauty,” he explains. ” His work is in the permanent collections of his 43 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

At the forefront of the studio furniture movement for over 30 years, Hurwitz is known for elegant design and exceptional craftsmanship. His work is timeless, sophisticated and respects the nature of wood. According to experts in the field, they are praised for their “adventurous use of materials and their knowledge of enhancing surfaces with color and pattern.” He is widely known for turning furniture making into a new art form. Like Ellsworth, his work is exhibited in the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and in the homes of numerous private collectors across the United States.

Selected objects from Ellsworth and Hurwitz will be on display during the Smithsonian Craft Show, which runs from October 28th to October 28th. The event will be held on the 31st at the historic National Building Museum. In addition, both artists will participate in the annual Smithsonian Visionary Benefit Auction, which will be held live and online on May 14th. The event, organized by the Smithsonian Women’s Commission and hosted by Rago Auctions, raises funds to support projects and initiatives across the Smithsonian Institution. institution.

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SI-56-2021



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