News & Press Releases
For Immediate Release

Story Photo
Wednesday, September 6th, 2006
Furniture in Art Exhibition Opens September 13, 2006


Pamela Fulcher Rockport Center for the Arts 361-729-5519 September 6, 2006



ROCKPORT, TX --  “Furniture in Art” a multi-media exhibit featuring the works of 10 craftsmen will be on display at the Rockport Center for the Arts September 13 – October 7.  Exhibitors include Bert Ray, David Langley, Dan Taylor, Lou Quallenberg, Wells Mason, Matt Peterson, Narice Hopp, Brian Frisbie, Laura Karcher and Bob Pheil.  There is no charge for admission. “Long before the advent of mass production, furniture making was considered an art form,” noted Pam Fulcher, art director for the Center.  “The craftsmen had to call on his or her considerable talent to meld color, design and proportion to design and produce a piece that was both attractive and functional. “Today’s artisans are able to call upon an even wider array of techniques and materials than their predecessors, which evoke more striking examples of how furniture is, indeed, an art form,” she added. After 40 years of practicing architecture in Houston, Ray retired to Wimberley to focus on his avocation – wood crafting.  His background serves him well as he makes precise drawings of every detail and actually constructs his own machinery to achieve the designs he’s created.  Most of his projects feature flat surfaces like tabletops, where the marquetry patterns and compositions are most visible. A resident of Houston, Langley specializes in producing high quality, original studio furniture.  The use of domestic and exotic woods and the application of hand rubbed finishes gives each piece its handcrafted look and feel.  He is represented by galleries in Houston and Galveston and has been featured in numerous articles. Taylor has been creating artistic furniture and accessories full-time for over 10 years.  Working from his studio near Cleburne, Taylor creates one of a kind pieces utilizing Ponderosa pine, an occasional found timber


Furniture as Art – Page 2

or relic of hardware. 

All pieces incorporate unusual finishes and paint techniques. Quallenberg’s life has always revolved around art.  Raised in a home that doubled as a photography studio and school, he picked up a camera at an early age and never looked back going on to become a successful commercial photographer.  In his teens, he became enamored with motorcycles and spent many late nights

creating and painting choppers for himself and friends. 

It wasn’t until his move to the Hill Country in 2002 that he uncovered his love for wood.  This move gave him a chance to concentrate on that love and hone his skills creating art that functions as furniture. Mason’s specialty is combining seemingly disparate materials like exquisite hardwoods coupled with forged steel.  As owner of Ironwood Industries in Austin, he has assembled an impressive portfolio of custom projects.  His works as appeared in such publications as Texas Architect, Southern Accents and Architectural Record.  Notable clients include the Austin Children’s Museum, The Wall Street Journal, Steven Holl Architects and Louis Vuitton. An award winner at the 2005 Rockport Art Festival, Peterson is renowned for his wooden rocking chairs.  From his studio in Taft, he lovingly crafts specially chosen wood and polishes it by hand to a smooth, almost velvety finish. A Rockport resident, Hopp has traveled throughout the United States, Central America and Europe to study ancient and modern styles.  She has taught art for the San Antonio Independent School District and also owned and operated an advertising agency.  While she works in a variety of mediums, she is well known for explosions of exuberant color and powerful bold contemporary design reflecting humor and warmth. The work of Austin artist Brian Frisbie seamlessly combines the tenets of form and function. Frisbie's pieces incorporate industrial processes and organic materials such as steel, concrete and spalted pecan to create


Furniture as Art – page 3

furniture that is both useful and able to stand alone as minimalist sculpture. Inspired by the simple expression of common geometric forms, Frisbie's most recent pieces have evolved into cantilevered works that are at once massive and delicate, balanced and asymmetrical, graceful and resilient.

Karcher’s Shoji Lamps are created from delicately carved and bent wood and translucent papers.  She has also been creating lamps with bowed sides and asymmetrical cut-outs that incorporate colored papers layered with rice paper.  Karcher’s goal in designing a lamp is to bring together all the elements in a harmonious way.  The proportions, color, grain, patterns and lines of the wood must be pleasing and either complement or pleasantly contrast with the translucent paper.

Pheil is a member of the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America and the Central Texas Blacksmith Association. 

A master magician when it comes to turning a piece of raw metal into beautiful items for the home or office, he has been blacksmithing non-stop since opening his shop in Llano in 1999.  He is one of 60 artisans from across the nation accepted for the prestigious, annual “Western Design Conference”.

A non-profit organization, the Rockport Center for the Arts is dedicated to providing an environment that nurtures the expression and appreciation of art for residents and tourists alike. For more information on the “Contemporary Sculpture” exhibit and the Center’s offerings, please call 361-729-5519.