Emerging Artists Dominate Philadelphia Furniture Show

Manan Narang in his studio

Contemporary design and technology meets traditional crafts at the Armory in April

For architect Manan Narang, the road from New Delhi to RISD was long, but building design to furniture design was a short leap. Narang, who is the 2018 winner of the Emerging Artist Competition, will exhibit his work along with 50 seasoned artisans at the 24th Annual Philadelphia Furniture ShowApril 14 & 15th at the Armory, with a Preview Party on Friday, April 13th from 6 to 9pm.

“I’m super stoked to be a part of this show,” said Narang. “As designers we’re always questioning the relevance of our work and trying to get feedback to constantly improve. Winning this competition really gives me a boost, as in some way I get the message ‘This looks promising!’. Also, it gives me a great opportunity to get real-time feedback from fellow designers and artists and people at the show.”

Narang was selected by a jury including Dennis Fitzgerald, former head of the furniture program at SUNY Purchase; Tor Erickson, a 3rd generation furniture maker whose family’s work is in the Smithsonian; and Julia Michalski, one of two winners from the 2017 Emerging Artist Competition. Sponsored by The Furniture Society, a nonprofit, educational organization based in Durham, NC, the national competition is open to any apprentice, current student or graduate within three years of commencement. Craftsmanship, design, innovation and presentation are the criteria.  Winners receive a booth at the Philadelphia Furniture Show in which to display work, as well as a mentorship session from Furniture Society jurors.

In a special collaboration for 2018, original painting and sculpture from Philadelphia’s own Center for Emerging Visual Artists will be on display in a curated installation. The exhibition will include works in paper, metal, wood, ceramics and on canvas by Nick Cassway, Mi-Kyoung Lee, Maggie Mills, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Henry Bermudez, Robert Miller and Emily White.

“CFEVA is a treasured institution that cultivates artists and celebrates their work,” said Stefa Normantas, managing partner of the Furniture Show. “Their paintings and sculpture will be a stunning complement to the hand-crafted furniture and furnishings on display at this year’s Show.”

The Philadelphia Furniture Show is expected to draw 3000 visitors to the Armory over the weekend. Guests at the Friday night Preview Party will have the first chance to purchase one-of-a-kind furniture and artwork before the Show opens to the public on Saturday.

In keeping with decades-old custom, the Preview Party begins with the ceremonial cleaving of a fresh-cut log with a two-person saw and continues with craft beverage sampling from Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey and Flying Fish Brewing Co, hearty hors d’oeuvres from 12th Street Catering and an open bar.

If you go

Where:   23rd Street Armory, 22 South 23rd St, between Market and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia

When:    Friday, April 13, Preview Party, 6-9pm, $45. (VIP Passes for $75 include access throughout the weekend and complimentary champagne). Proceeds support the Center for Emerging Visual Artists.

               Saturday, April 1410am – 6pm, $15, students $8

               SundayApril 1510am – 5pm, $15, students $8

Weekend Pass: $12 in advance

Info:        Tickets can be purchased at www.philadelphiafurnitureshow.com or by calling 215.387.8590.

Center for Emerging Visual Artists

With a mission to cultivate, nurture, and advance the careers of emerging visual artists while simultaneously expanding opportunities for the public to discover and connect with art, CFEVA raises the profile of Philadelphia’s professional artists and showcases how vibrant artistic communities boost cultural tourism and economic development. Through fellowships, residencies, educational outreach, exhibitions, and professional development, CFEVA provides artists with the tangible resources needed to develop sustainable careers. Visit CFEVA at 237 South 18th Street, M-F 11-5 and by appointment or at  www.cfeva.org. Contact Lisa M. Brown, lisa@cfeva.org, 215.546.7775.

Philadelphia Furniture Show

In concert with Philadelphia’s centuries-old tradition of fine woodworking, the Philadelphia Furniture Show has exhibited exceptional, artisan-quality furniture and furnishings annually since 1994. Exhibitors are juried-in based on the quality of their work. The Furniture Show is produced by Green Tree Events, also the producers of New England Made Giftware and Specialty Food Shows (www.nemadeshows.com). Contact: Stefa Normantas, info@greentreeevents.com215.387.8590.