The Henry Gallery at Penn State Great Valley

Open to the public: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sfirri ExhibitMany Things Considered:
Works on Paper & Works in Wood

Exhibit Opening and Artist Talk by Mark Sfirri: Thursday, March 27
6:00-7:00 p.m.: Exhibit Opening/Meet the Author, Henry Gallery
7:00-8:00 p.m.: Mark Sfirri: Artists Talk, Musser Auditorium 

Woodworker Mark Sfirri continually blurs the line separating woodturning from sculpture. Sfirri, who earned both his bachelor and master of fine arts from Rhode Island School of Design, was heavily influenced by his mentor Tage Frid, who encouraged Sfirri to use his primary tool, the lathe, in new and creative ways. Sfirri uses the lathe to create conventional bowls and spindles, which he then manipulates using multi-centered spindles, and a series of crosscuts; the resulting pieces combine concave and convex surfaces with curvilinear contours. “As a furniture maker and sculptor much of my work centers around the wood lathe-turned object. Turned pieces, sometimes turned on several different axes, have allowed me to explore form in a spontaneous, mathematical, creative way.”

Well-known for his bold composition and meticulous attention to detail, Sfirri has collaborated on individual pieces with numerous other artists, including Michael Hosaluk and painter Robert Dodge. He has taught at Bucks County Community College since 1981 as an associate professor of fine woodworking. Sfirri has published numerous articles in journals such as American Woodworker, and Fine Woodworking. He is a sought-after lecturer and has given talks globally. He has been a guest of the French government, giving three-week courses instructing French turners in the art of lathe turning and has been a guest speaker at the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain Conference at the University of Warwick.

He has a strong interest in the woodworker Wharton Esherick and has written and lectured on the topic. His work has been reviewed and featured in Australian, British and Canadian publications and in many prominent newspapers and magazines in the United States. In 2012, he was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Collectors of Wood Art.

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Emil Milan Wood Works

Exhibit Opening and Lecture/Panel Discussion

Monday, June 9
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.: Gallery Reception to celebrate exhibit opening
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.: Emil Milan: Mid-century Designer Craftsman Lecture/Panel Discussion

Rediscover mid-century master craftsman, Emil Milan (1922-1985), whose "functional sculptures" in wood combined sleek modern designs and organic shapes. From 1961 on, Milan lived and worked in Thompson, Penna., selling works through retail outlets in the Northeast and teaching woodworking classes for Penn State Ag Extension. Hear a panel of three experts on Milan discuss the life and work of this lovable curmudgeon, innovative woodworker, and gifted artist and designer.