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The Furni­ture Society Board of Trustees consists of up to 22 members at any given time, as provided in the orga­ni­za­tion’s charter. Trustees serve for a term of 3 years, and may serve two consec­u­tive terms. Candi­dates for open­ings on the board are consid­ered by the Nomi­nat­ing Commit­tee, and voted on by the full board. Trustees who have completed their term(s) usually continue to serve by invi­ta­tion on the Advisory Board.

Offi­cers of the board are elected by the full board and include Pres­i­dent, Vice-Pres­i­dent, Trea­surer, and Secre­tary. These office­hold­ers form the Exec­u­tive Commit­tee. Retir­ing Pres­i­dents are invited to serve one addi­tional active year on the board in the posi­tion of Past President.

The Board of Trustees is composed of member volun­teers who give their time and expe­ri­ence to guide the Society in the fulfill­ment of its mission. Meet­ings of the full Board occur twice during the year. Any member of The Furni­ture Society is eligi­ble to be consid­ered for nomi­na­tion as a Trustee.

Current Furniture Society Trustees

Officers

Offi­cers are elected annu­ally and consti­tute the orga­ni­za­tion’s Executive Committee.

Joined 2013

Bart Niswonger

Board President
Worthington, MA

Bart Niswonger is a furni­ture maker in western Mass­a­chu­setts. His work explores complex surface pattern and texture, employ­ing tech­niques from hand carving to computer controlled routing as well as a broad range of mate­ri­als. He received the John D. Mineck Furni­ture Fellow­ship in 2011, and has been a member of The Furni­ture Society since 2004.

Joined 2014

Maggie Sasso

Board Vice President
Milwaukee, WI

Maggie Sasso received her BFA in wood­work­ing and metal­smithing from Murray State Univer­sity in 2006. During this time she served as Student Repre­sen­ta­tive on the Board of Trustees for the Furni­ture Society. In 2010 she received her MFA from the Univer­sity of Wiscon­sin — Madison where she made many bodies of work, includ­ing the Mobile Museum of Mate­r­ial Culture, a collab­o­ra­tive grant funded project featured in a docu­men­tary. In Fall 2010 she taught at the Oregon College of Art and Craft for one semes­ter in the wood­work­ing depart­ment, and worked as a visit­ing artist. In 2011 she moved to Milwau­kee, WI where she received a Mary L. Nohl Fellow­ship and works at the Milwau­kee Insti­tute of Art and Design where she is the Sewing Lab Tech­ni­cian and teaches adjunct in the foun­da­tions, new studio prac­tice and indus­trial design departments.

Sarah Marriage Headshot
Joined 2015

Sarah Marriage

Secretary
Rockport, ME

Sarah Marriage lives and works in Balti­more, MD where she is the founder and direc­tor of A Work­shop of Our Own, a non-profit educa­tional wood­shop created by and for women and gender non-conform­ing indi­vid­u­als, with a mission to provide train­ing, advo­cacy and oppor­tu­nity for people under­rep­re­sented by gender in the field of furni­ture making and wood­work­ing. Sarah studied archi­tec­ture at Prince­ton Univer­sity and fine wood­work­ing at The College of the Redwoods (now The Krenov School). She is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Furni­ture Society. She has been a visit­ing artist at Herron School of Art & Design, a studio fellow at the Center for Furni­ture Crafts­man­ship, and a John D Mineck furni­ture fellow. She has taught at The Krenov School, Penland School of Craft, Ander­son Ranch Arts Center, and Haystack Moun­tain School of Craft. Sarah’s­work has shown at galleries and trade shows across the US, includ­ing juried exhi­bi­tions within Dwell on Design (CA), ICFF (NY), the Amer­i­can Craft Council Show (MD), and Pritam & Eames Gallery (NY).

awork​shopo​fourown​.com

sarah​mar​riage​.com

Kathy Sharp
Joined 2015

Kathy Sharp

Treasurer
Woodbury, TN

Kathy Sharp is owner of Keystone Profes­sional Solu­tions and a long­time volun­teer with the Furni­ture Society. She is married to Alf Sharp, a furni­ture maker, former board member, and past pres­i­dent. Many will know Kathy from her activ­i­ties orga­niz­ing the Silent Auction at conferences.

Trustees

Trustees are elected for three-year terms and may be re-elected to a second three-year term.

Joined 2019

Meg Bye

Seattle, WA

Meg Bye (She/​Her) is an artist based in Seattle, WA. Bye’s inter­est in fine art and wood­work­ing started at an early age even­tu­ally leading her to study sculp­ture, conser­va­tion and busi­ness. With her early career balanced between museum collec­tions and arts fabri­ca­tion Bye even­tu­ally accu­mu­lated her knowl­edge to strike out on her own. In 2014, Bye founded Knot & Burl Studios, a sculp­ture and fine furnish­ings company in Seattle, WA. At Knot & Burl Studios (KBS), Bye works collab­o­ra­tively with design­ers, archi­tects and patrons to create one of a kind art pieces, each tailored to the philos­o­phy and needs of the location.

Bye’s large scale, site specific instal­la­tions blend tradi­tional craft knowl­edge with modern refine­ment to create contem­po­rary, sculp­tural envi­ron­ments. Bye consid­ers herself a link in the lineage of tradi­tional heritage makers and strives to carry and share the skills and knowl­edge passed to her through the work teach­ing and creat­ing. Working in wood, metal, leather, glass and organ­i­cally sourced mate­ri­als, Bye describes her work as living in the space where archi­tec­ture and sculp­ture meet. Her work can be found in public and private collec­tions through­out the United States. Bye is an advo­cate for cultural growth that empow­ers artists within the maker/​arts fields. knotand​burl​stu​dios​.com

Mike Cooper
Joined 2018

Michael Cooper

Sebastapol, CA

Michael Jean Cooper was born in Rich­mond, Cali­for­nia in 1943 and grew up in Lodi, Cali­for­nia. Mike holds a B.A. in Commer­cial Art and M.A. in Sculp­ture from San Jose State College, as well as a M.F.A in Sculp­ture from U.C. Berke­ley. He taught Furni­ture Design, Sculp­ture, and 3D Design as an Instruc­tor of Art for 34 years at Foothill-DeAnza College in Cuper­tino, CA, retir­ing in 2004.

During his profes­sional career Michael has been honored with numer­ous awards and fellow­ships. Michael has partic­i­pated in multi­ple one-man and group shows and is repre­sented in various publi­ca­tions as well as private and public collec­tions. He currently lives in Sebastopol, Cali­for­nia where he works daily in his studio adja­cent to his home. He typi­cally works in wood and metal or a combi­na­tion of both, combin­ing organic and geomet­ric forms with kinetic elements.

Forest Dickey
Joined 2011

Forest Dickey

Past President
Seattle, WA

Forest Dickey initially came to the Board as the Student Repre­sen­ta­tive, and also served as the Vice Pres­i­dent of the Board.

Joined 2018

Karen Ernst

Trustee

Karen Ernst is a Profes­sor in the Art Depart­ment at Edin­boro Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, where she has been teach­ing wood­work­ing and furni­ture design since 2004. Orig­i­nally from East Aurora, NY, she received a B.A. in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo, and her M.F.A in Furni­ture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. She main­tains an active studio prac­tice, exhibit­ing the furni­ture and sculp­tural objects she makes across the U.S. She has been a member of the Furni­ture Society since 2002.

Reuben Foat
Joined 2020

Reuben Foat

Los Angeles

Reuben is a passion­ate object maker and has taught at art/​craft centers across the country. These schools include the Center for Furni­ture Crafts­man­ship, Ander­son Ranch Arts Center, Haystack Moun­tain School of Crafts, and Penland School of Crafts. He has been a lecturer at the Univer­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts Dart­mouth, San Diego State Univer­sity, and Cuya­maca College in Cali­for­nia. He currently teaches full-time and is the Chair of the Wood­work­ing Manu­fac­tur­ing Tech­nolo­gies Depart­ment at Cerri­tos College, the largest wood­work­ing career tech­ni­cal educa­tion facil­ity on the West Coast. He main­tains a studio prac­tice as one of the makers at Allied Wood­shop in the Fashion District of Los Angeles.

https://​www​.reuben​foat​.com/

K Hall
Joined 2020

Kathryn Hall

Houston, TX

Kathryn Hall is Curator at Houston Center for Contem­po­rary Craft (HCCC) in Houston, Texas, where she is respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing and over­see­ing exhi­bi­tions and related program­ming. She previ­ously served as the Windgate Cura­to­r­ial Fellow at HCCC from 2012 to 2015. Kathryn received a BA in Art History from Wofford College and an MA in Art History from the Univer­sity of Georgia. She is a scholar of contem­po­rary craft and material culture.

https://​kathrynfhall​.com/

Joined 2018

Adam Manley

San Diego, CA

Adam John Manley was born and raised in the Adiron­dacks of Upstate New York. His Father was a carpen­ter and boat builder, and his mother a weaver. After attend­ing SUNY New Paltz, in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he received a BA in Inter­na­tional Rela­tions and Polit­i­cal Science, Adam fell in love with wood­work­ing and furni­ture making. After college, he and a small group of craft-based artists started a small gallery and coop­er­a­tive studio, in Kingston New York called the Fire­house”. Adam Received his MFA in Furni­ture and Wood­work­ing from San Diego State Univer­sity in 2012, where he focused his work on sculp­tural objects using furni­ture as a point of depar­ture. The work explores the rela­tion­ship between people, places, and objects. Since receiv­ing his MFA, Adam has exhib­ited nation­ally from San Diego to Maine, includ­ing shows at Space Gallery in Port­land Maine, The Hunter­don Museum in Clinton New Jersey, The Ocean­side Museum in Ocean­side Cali­for­nia, UW Madison’s galleries, and the Kipp Gallery in Indiana Pennsylvania.

Heath Matysek-Snyder
Joined 2017

Heath Matysek-Snyder

Richmond, VA

Head of the Wood/​Furniture Design Area and an Assis­tant Profes­sor in the Depart­ment of Craft/​Material Studies, at Virginia Common­wealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts) from 20122019, Heath Matysek-Snyder is an object maker whose multi-faceted studio prac­tice
incor­po­rates wood­work­ing, furni­ture, design and sculp­ture. Earning his BFA from VCUarts in 2000 and his MFA from the Univer­sity of Wiscon­sin-Madison in 2004, Heath has been an Artist-in-Resi­dence at San Diego State Univer­sity, Designed Objects Tasma­nia; Hobart, Australia, the College of Design and Inno­va­tion at Tongji Univer­sity; Shang­hai, China, and has partic­i­pated at the Emma Inter­na­tional Collab­o­ra­tion, in Ness Creek, Saskatchewan.

Navva Milliken
Joined 2017

Jennifer-Navva Milliken

New York and Tel Aviv

Jennifer-Navva Milliken is the Artis­tic Direc­tor for The Center for Art in Wood. Prior to her arrival at the Center, she served as an embed­ded staff member in inter­na­tional art museums, as an inde­pen­dent curator, and as the founder of a cross-disci­pli­nary art space. Her exhi­bi­tions have been presented in museums, art fairs, galleries, and uncon­ven­tional spaces, and her writ­ings have been seen in exhi­bi­tion cata­logues, antholo­gies, and publi­ca­tions that inves­ti­gate and critique the inter­sect­ing fields of art, craft, and design. With a global perspec­tive, honed through a life split between two conti­nents, she is driven by the extra­or­di­nary power of the arts to chal­lenge precon­cep­tions and bridge divides.

Sylvie Rosenthal
Joined 2020

Sylvie Rosenthal

Madison, WI

Sylvie Rosen­thal received her BFA from The Rochester Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Wood­work­ing and Furni­ture Design Program in the School for Amer­i­can Crafts, built two houses from the ground up with her mentor Doug Sigler, and received her MFA in sculp­ture from the Univer­sity of Wiscon­sin- Madison. Sylvie has been routinely invited as a visit­ing artist, teacher, and researcher to many degree and non-degree grant­ing insti­tu­tions around the world. She has shown nation­ally at galleries and museums such as The Fuller Craft Museum (MA), The Mint Museum (NC), and the Museum of Art and Design (NYC). Currently, Sylvie main­tains a studio prac­tice making furni­ture on commis­sion, produc­tion work for sale online, and sculp­ture dealing with the inter­sect­ing flight patterns of the histo­ries of trade, the inten­tional and unin­ten­tional trans­plan­ta­tions that come with it, hybrid­ity, mate­ri­al­ity, queer theory, and the natural world. 

Sylvie recently finished her service on the board of trustees of CERF+, the Artists’ Safety Net, which helps artists build strong and resilient careers. When Sylvie isn’t doing the above, you might find her on her bike, teach­ing wood­work­ing to kids, or trav­el­ing some­where, but more likely, in her studio. 

https://​www​.sylvierosen​thal​.com/

Norman Teague
Joined 2020

Norman Teague

Chicago, IL

Norman Teague is a Chicago based artist, designer and educa­tor who focuses on the complex­ity of urban­ism and the culture of commu­ni­ties. Teague prides himself for working within commu­ni­ties that offer ethical returns and human centered exchanges. Teague has worked on exhi­bi­tions at The Depart­ment of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Docu­menta 13, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Archi­tec­ture Center & Harvard Grad­u­ate School of Design. 

Teague holds an MFA in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Insti­tute of Chicago (SAIC) and a BA in Product Design from Colum­bia College Chicago. He was awarded the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foun­da­tion Prize for Emerg­ing Artists in 2015 and is presently a creative collab­o­ra­tor in asso­ci­a­tion with the exhi­bi­tion design team of Ralph Apple­baum & Asso­ciates (NY) and Civic Projects for the Obama Presidential Center. 

Aside from his normal making prac­tice, he and Fo Wilson, his partner in blkHaUS studios, work on collab­o­ra­tive projects in the South Shore area of Chicago. Teague works with part­ners to high­light careers in design, arts and crafts and peda­gogy within the south side to increase the popu­la­tions of color to have access to the design indus­try, while creat­ing viable outlets for making in all capacities.

http://​www​.plank22b​.com/

https://​blkhausstu​dios​.com/

Sarah Turner
Joined 2020

Sarah Turner

Boston, MA

Sarah Turner is an artist and educa­tor trained in the North­west, refined in the Midwest and now based in Boston. She is the Pres­i­dent of North Bennet Street School.

As an educa­tor, working from both the office and the studio, Sarah has also worked at the Cran­brook Academy of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the State Univer­sity of New York at New Paltz. As the Dean at Cran­brook, Sarah directed the Acad­e­mic Programs of the Academy and estab­lished a Crit­i­cal Studies + Human­i­ties resi­den­tial teach­ing fellow­ship. She has lectured widely, regu­larly serves as a guest critic, and has orga­nized exhi­bi­tions on contem­po­rary applied art in the US and abroad. In 2005, Sarah was awarded a Fulbright Fellow­ship to the Nether­lands to research Dutch contem­po­rary applied art.

In addi­tion to her work in educa­tion, Sarah main­tains a low-produc­tion studio. Her work has been included in exhi­bi­tions nation­ally and internationally. 

Sarah has been a volun­teer and advisor for a variety of orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the South­east Michi­gan Fulbright Asso­ci­a­tion, the Vermont YWCA, the Art Jewelry Forum, the Society of North Amer­i­can Gold­smiths, and the Inter­na­tional (dis)Organization of Recent Art-Grad­u­ates Apply­ing for Teach­ing and Grants [I(d)RAGTAG].

https://​www​.sarah​turn​er​pro​jects​.com/

https://​www​.nbss​.edu/


Headshot Esther Cho
Joined 2019

Esther Cho

Student Trustee

Esther Cho (She/​Her) received her dual BFA in Inte­rior Design and Craft/​Material Studies (with a concen­trat­ing in wood­work­ing) from the Virginia Common­wealth Univer­sity in 2017 and is expected to receive her MFA from the Univer­sity of Wiscon­sin – Madison in 2022. She employs a disci­pline in wood­work­ing and paper­mak­ing to seek a place where Korean and Western craft tradi­tions merge to commu­ni­cate the concepts of self-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, cultural discon­nect, and the loss of lineage. She has been awarded the 2017 Windgate Fellow­ship Award and trav­eled to South Korea to study tradi­tional Korean paper­mak­ing tech­niques and its related arts. Insta­gram: estherjihyecho

Joined 2019

Ryan Zimmerman

Student Trustee

Ryan Zimmer­man is a second-year grad­u­ate student at the Rochester Insti­tute of
Tech­nol­ogy, in the Furni­ture Design program. Born and raised in Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia, he
received his BFA from Edin­boro Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia in 2017, with a
concen­tra­tion in Wood/​Furniture Design and minors in print­mak­ing and sculp­ture.
Leaving under­grad, he completed an intern­ship at Ander­son Ranch Arts Center in the
furni­ture program. His work explores the arche­type of furni­ture, while ques­tion­ing its
func­tion­al­ity. Currently working with both wood and clay, the forms he gener­ates are
designed and built consid­er­ing systems of repe­ti­tion and progres­sion, as well as
mate­r­ial limi­ta­tions and ambi­gu­ity. rzim​mer​man​wood​work​.com

The Furni­ture Society Advi­sory Board provides advice and counsel to the Board of Trustees.

  • Ronald Abram­son
  • Glenn Adamson
  • Mark Bench
  • Sylvia Bennett
  • Bonnie Bishoff
  • Scott Braun
  • Martha Connell
  • Edward S. Cooke. Jr.
  • Paula Coop­er­rider
  • Stephen B. Crump
  • Deborah Levin Daniell
  • Linda Sue Eastman
  • Dennis FitzGer­ald, Past President
  • David Fleming
  • Amy Forsyth
  • Michael Fortune
  • Gail Fredell
  • Rachel Fuld, Past President
  • Brian Glad­well, Past President
  • Andy Glantz, Past President
  • Miguel Gomez-Ibanez, Past President
  • Marc Grainer
  • Peter Handler
  • Michael Hosaluk
  • Ursula Ilse-Neuman
  • Bebe Pritam Johnson
  • Janet Kardon
  • Jack Lari­more
  • Po Shun Leong
  • Kern Maass
  • Wendy Maruyama
  • Craig Nutt
  • Aimee Pickett
  • Andy Pitts
  • Mike Podman­iczky
  • Richard Prisco
  • Gabriel Romeu, Past President
  • Rosanne Somer­son
  • Bernice Wollman