Meet our 2020 Jurors
Brian Boggs began his journey with $50 in old hand tools in his home woodworking shop in Berea, Kentucky. Each chair carried a new lesson, including what to do when a neighbor sees your first chair and asks for a set for his gallery. The lesson learned with the first inquiry was to always exceed expectations. Adherence to this mantra kept new orders coming and old clients returning.
That first order began a tsunami of creativity in Brian’s life as he found new ways to solve old problems. Not content to just settle for the tools available, Brian created new versions of tools, most notably the Boggs Spokeshave, now produced and sold by Lie-Nielsen. His innovations included his shaving horse, along with other tools and techniques which made his work sturdier while retaining a graceful flow.
After more than twenty years in Berea, Brian decided to make the move to Asheville, North Carolina, changing the landscape of his life in every way.
Melanie Boggs worked as an organizational learning and development consultant outside of Washington, DC for over twenty years, facilitating leadership teams around the world in cultural transformation, strategic planning, and team building, working with organizations such as ING Bank, Merck Pharmaceutical and Coors Brewery.
Prior to starting her own firm, Melanie worked for the international education organization, Up With People. She worked internationally with multicultural young adults who showed her the power of people coming together to contribute to something greater than themselves. In creating a business, she wanted to translate that experience to adults in the corporate arena.
When Melanie and Brian met they combined their energies to reimagine the furniture industry. Melanie’s business acumen combined with a desire to build an organization which created an ecosystem of its own, one formed with everyone aligned to the values of excellence, innovation, integrity and social and environmental responsibility. In 2009, when Melanie worked with Brian as a consultant for his budding company, she realized what Brian was trying to do went far beyond making and selling his chairs. He had a vision, but needed a strategic plan to move forward. Melanie saw how their two dreams could combine.
Their fully realized partnership continues to find success as it moves into its second decade.
Julie Muñiz is an independent curator living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. For over 15 years, she has worked with both institutional and private art collections on both coasts. She received her Masters of Arts from the Bard Graduate Center in New York and held positions of increasing responsibility at museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Oakland Museum of California. A lover of design, she shares her unique perspective through her Instagram feed @Chair_Aware.
Allan Wexler has worked in the fields of architecture, design, and fine art. He is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City.
The subject of Wexler’s work is the built environment. He creates drawings, multimedia objects, images, and installations that alter perceptions of domestic activities. He investigates eating, bathing, sitting, and socializing, and turns these everyday activities into ritual and theater
Wexler is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a winner of a Chrysler Award for Design Innovation. Wexler currently teaches at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Lars Müller has recently published Absurd Thinking: Between Art and Design, a book on Wexler’s work and creative process.