Explorations in Wood: Selections from The Center for Art in Wood

December 2, 2017 – February 25, 2018

Our dependence on – and love for – wood cannot be overstated. It’s integral to our very existence in a range of ways, encompassing our man-made environments as well as both utilitarian and decorative items. The organic qualities of wood, our ability to manipulate its shape, its abundance, and its renewable potential are among the reasons wood permeates our culture – including the art world. The more than seventy objects comprising Explorations in Wood highlight the diversity and unlimited potential of wood via this sampling of objects from the collection of Philadelphia’s Center for Art in Wood, gathered over a thirty-year period. These works stem from a love of wood and display a rich variety of wood type and processes, including wood-turned vessels as well as more sculptural forms. Many celebrate the natural beauty of wood, evident in rich warm-brown tones and assorted grain patterns, typical of materials gathered around the globe.

Exhibition Highlights

Frank E Cummings, III, Nature in Transition, 1989, cork, oak, 18K gold, exotic material; photo by John Carlano
William Hunter, Vallarta Shell, 1995, cocobolo; photo by John Carlano
Carl R. Pittman, Welcome to The New Paradigm, 2011, silver maple, white milk paint, waxed linen, steel, wax; photo by John Carlano
Jack Slentz, Puzzle, 1998, ash; photo by John Carlano
Hayley Smith, Hemispherical Bowl Form, 1995, English sycamore; photo by John Carlano
Butch Smuts, Out of Africa, 2004, African blackwood, red ivory, kiaat; photo by John Carlano

Thanks to the members, donors, grantors, and sponsors who support the exhibition and programs.

The Explorations in Wood traveling exhibition is sponsored through a generous grant from The Henry Luce Foundation. Exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Marketing supported in part by City of Wausau Room Tax funds. Support for hands-on art-making supplies comes from the Walmart Foundation.


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Enhance and extend your visit; ski at Granite Peak & warm up at the Woodson Art Museum.

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