Guided studio tour of area furniture makers, April 7

Published 10:00 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

Upstairs Artspace will sponsor a tour of four area chair designers featured in the current “Have A Seat” exhibit at the gallery. The tour group, which is limited to 12, will meet at the gallery at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, and will return to the gallery at 4:30 p.m. In addition to meeting the artists and hearing how they design and make contemporary chairs that will last for generations, the modest fee includes lunch in Asheville and transportation in a comfortable 15-person van.

The personalized tour will be led by Sherry Masters, who for more than 20 years managed the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, one of the nation’s top retailers of fine craft.  Born and raised in the mountains of Madison County, Masters learned to love and value handmade objects that preserved tradition, and developed that love into a career supporting and promoting those who create these beautiful objects. Masters curated the current “Have A Seat” show at the Upstairs, which will run until April 22.

Artist studios to be visited include: Brian Fireman, in Landrum; Derek Hennigar, in Columbus; Brandon Skupski, in the South Slope area of Asheville; and Brian Boggs in the Biltmore/River Arts section, Asheville.

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Fireman has a background in both architecture and geology, and his love of travel and learning about local woods and cultures inspire his elegant designs.

Hennigar has been designing pieces since 1993 that pay homage to the importance of wood, both in the past and present day.

Boggs, who set up his first shop with $50 worth of old hand tools, made his first chair in the winter of 1983 after being inspired by John Alexander’s book, “Make A Chair From A Tree.”  His studio has since become a tourist attraction in Asheville.

Skupski strives to design and make heirloom quality furniture with emphasis on sensible design and exceptional craftsmanship.  He is currently working on beds, tables and chairs in walnut.

Those who love fine furniture, woodworking, or just a day’s outing in lovely spring weather will not be disappointed with this very special tour.