Design finalists at Messler Gallery

Jan 17, 2013
Among the “Designing Benches” finalists is “Eleven” by Gregory W. Crispell.

Rockport — “Designing Benches: Farnsworth Competition Finalists” will open at the Messler Gallery of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship Friday, Jan. 25, with a 5 to 7 p.m. public opening reception. Purchase awards by the Farnsworth Art Museum will be announced at the event.

“Designing Benches” showcases the top 15 entries in a design competition co-sponsored by Rockland’s Farnsworth Museum of Art and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. The challenge was to design new gallery benches for the Farnsworth. A call for entries went out to all Maine artists and artisans in July 2012. “We are delighted with the creativity and craftsmanship of the entries,” remarked Michael Komanecky, the Farnsworth’s chief curator, “and thrilled to make an acquisition of handsome Maine-made benches from the show."

In all, 44 entrants submitted 73 designs. The finalists juried by the Farnsworth are Nick Barboza, Bangor; Eben Blaney, Edgecomb; Judy Bonzi, Rockport; Gregory W. Crispell, Garland; Chris Gray, Blue Hill; Terry Kelly, Mapleton; Gregg Lipton, Cumberland; Mason McBrien, Union; Richard Ong, Arrowsic; Stephen Porter, Searsmont; James Provenzano, Farmington; Kevin Rodel, Brunswick; Libby Schrum, Camden; David Stetson, Sheepscot; and Andrew White, Union.

Visitors to the Messler Gallery may “test drive” the benches while viewing a concurrent exhibition of seating-themed Maine paintings. Participating artists include Barbara Sullivan, represented by Caldbeck Gallery; Ted Keller, represented by Carver Hill Gallery; Harold Garde, represented by Harbor Square Gallery; and Stephen Hoedecker, Connie Hayes, David Vickery and others artists represented by Dowling Walsh Gallery.

Messler Gallery hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Messler Gallery is located on the campus of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, at the corner of Route 90 and Mill Street. The Center is a nonprofit, year-round school that offers courses in furniture making and related arts such as carving and woodturning. For more information, call 594-561; send email to; or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or

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