The Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship will launch its autumn exhibition “Furniture Masters of New Hampshire” with an opening reception Friday, Sept. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition is a joint project of the Center and the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association, headquartered in Manchester, N.H.

While the primary mission of each institution — a professional trade association and a nonprofit school — differs, the core values are the same as both organizations strive to advance the craft of furniture making at the highest standard of excellence.

The New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association was founded in 1995 as a means of perpetuating New Hampshire’s fine furniture making tradition. Today it counts a membership of more than 20 leading furniture makers including several from the neighboring states of Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts.  The work selected for the Messler Gallery show reveals the breadth of stylistic interests among the masters, ranging from interpretations of Early American, Shaker and Neo-Classical periods to original contemporary designs.

Participating furniture makers include Ted Blachly (Warner, N.H.), Aurelio Bolognesi (Hardwick, Mass.), John Cameron (Gloucester, Mass.), Jeffery Cooper (Portsmouth, N.H.), Garrett Hack (Thetford Center, Vt.), Howard Hatch (Brunswick), David Lamb (Canterbury, N.H.), David S. Leach (Kittery), Tom McLaughlin (Canterbury, N.H.), Terry Moore (Wilmot, N.H.), Richard Oedel (Boston, Mass.), Brian Reid (Rockland), Jeff Roberts (Unity, N.H.), Brian Sargent (Candia, N.H.), William Thomas (Rindge, N.H.), Peter Turner (South Portland), A. Thomas Walsh (West Stockbridge, Mass.), and Leah Woods (Portsmouth, N.H.).

The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Mill Street at Route 90, is a nationally recognized woodworking school which trains craftspeople for careers and avocations in furniture making. The Messler gallery originates five exhibitions per year that draw roughly 3,500 visitors to campus. It is the only venue in New England dedicated to exhibiting fine woodworking year-round.

“We are delighted to make this exceptional work from our friends in New Hampshire available to audiences in Maine,’ said Peter Korn, the Center’s executive director.

Messler Gallery is admission-free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 594-5611 or send e-mail to

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to