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Meet our 2020 Jurors

Brian & Melanie Boggs

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

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

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.