Tag Archive for woodworking

IUPUI student designs safe house for children in Swaziland

photo swaziland safe house

An interior design student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has designed a “safe house” that will be built to protect child-led families in the Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa who desperately need safe places to live.

A full-sized section of the safe house, built by the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, will be unveiled at 6 p.m. on February 18, at an exhibit of photographs that explores the lives of these children, “Hope Seekers: Survival of Southern African Child-Led Households in the Shadow of HIV.” The section of the safe house will be displayed in the main lobby at Hine Hall from February 19 – 25.

“The exhibit tells the stories of these children and really allows people to enter into an experience of gaining more of an intimate look at the child-led households in South Africa,” said Cynthia Prime, CEO of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach. SOHO is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization taking a leading role in efforts to help educate, nurture and feed the child-led families.

The number of households in Swaziland led by children, some as young as 8, is mushrooming, resulting from an HIV/AIDS pandemic that is creating a new orphan every 14 seconds.

The 800-square-foot sustainable safe house will be constructed of local materials and feature a single sloping roof and a rainwater collection and filtration system. Safety features include windows placed high on the walls and an outdoor courtyard surrounded by high walls. Six orphan girls will live in the safe house that provides communal sleeping and living spaces.

In a written presentation of her design, Earley wrote that the children of Swaziland have very few adults to cherish and protect them from the dangers of their world. “This is why the sustainable housing units are such an important endeavor to start to build the nourishing community these children so desperately need. Building this groundwork to create a safe haven and a means to a more thriving reality is hopefully just the beginning for these six girls that will occupy this homestead.

“As AIDS cheats these kids of parents, it is common that the surviving family also will cheat them out of anything moveable or of value from their remaining homes,” Earley said. “Everything the children knew to be theirs is ripped away from them along with their parents. For this reason, it’s essential that furniture be built into the walls of the home or fixed together resulting in immobility. It is my goal that the young girls of the homestead will feel safe, secure and confident in their permanent dwelling.”

Droege, Tennant, Maultsby receive President’s Medal from IU

photo Phillip Tennant

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presented the President’s Medal for Excellence to three professors Oct. 8 at the university’s Academic Excellence Dinner.

Those receiving medals were Anthony Droege, professor emeritus of art at Indiana University South Bend; Phillip Tennant, who retired in June from IUPUI’s Herron School of Art and Design; and Portia Maultsby, professor of folklore and ethnomusicology in IU Bloomington’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The highest honor an IU president can bestow, the President’s Medal for Excellence recognizes, among other criteria, distinction in public service, service to IU, and extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and industry. The medal itself is a reproduction in silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by IU’s president at ceremonial occasions.

“At Indiana University, we recognize that the disciplines that comprise the arts and humanities remain central to our ability to discover, collaborate, create and innovate, and we will continue to invest in and support them,” McRobbie said. “These three Indiana University faculty members, Portia Maultsby, Phillip Tenant and Tony Droege, who are from three different IU campuses, exemplify IU’s continued strength and excellence in the arts and humanities. They have each reached the pinnacle of academic achievement in their widely different fields, and they have also been recognized by their peers around the world for their tireless dedication and tremendous contributions to their disciplines.

“We are extremely pleased to recognize and honor their outstanding intellectual achievements, their commitment to excellence in every endeavor they have pursued and their tireless dedication to enriching the life of the university.”

Droege retired in 2008 after 37 years on IU South Bend’s faculty, where he served as chair of the Fine Art Department from 1982 to 1990. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Penn State and his Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Iowa and taught at Murray State University in Kentucky before Harold Zisla hired him to teach painting at IU South Bend in 1971.

Primarily known for his large oil paintings, Droege also works in watercolor and a variety of drawing media. In recent years he has made serious explorations in landscape and still life.

Maultsby, who has been at IU Bloomington since 1971, is the Laura Boulton Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. She received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and her master’s degree in musicology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a bachelor’s degree in piano, theory and composition from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kan.

Her research interests include popular music, the music industry, African American music and musical aesthetics and transnationalism. She is also director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture.

Maultsby received an award in 2011 from the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music, and serves as an advisory board member for the Institute for Popular Music at the New York-based University of Rochester. She has served as researcher or advisor for various video and radio documentaries for the National Afro-American Museum, PBS, Radio Smithsonian and NPR, among others. She also founded and conducted the Indiana University Soul Revue, a touring student ensemble.

Tennant was recruited to the Herron School of Art and Design in 1974 to launch a woodworking program for art majors. It began as a small struggling program in the basement of the old Herron Museum building on 16th Street in Indianapolis. Under his watch, the program tripled the number of students and broadened its curriculum. In 2008, Herron launched new MFA degrees and has attained national prominence among the top furniture design programs.

Before joining the Herron School, Tennant earned his degree from Alfred University in New York and studied under master woodworker and furniture designer Wendell Castle.

Tennant’s creative activities and scholarly work have been focused on designing contemporary fine art furniture and the exploration of material and process. His work has been exhibited nationally and featured in various publications, including Fine Woodworking, American Craft Magazine and Furniture Studio. He also conducts many workshops as a visiting artist and has received numerous public and private commissions.

Herron well-represented in upcoming Indiana State Museum’s exhibit “Fearless Furniture”

photo herron faculty furniture

Nearly 85 percent of Indiana’s dentists were trained on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Nearly half of the state’s lawyers have their legal roots on the IUPUI campus. Now an upcoming museum exhibit reveals many of the state’s “best of the best” furniture artists also have IUPUI academic roots.

The “Fearless Furniture” exhibit opens Oct. 5 and runs through May 2014 at the Indiana State Museum, just south of Eskenazi Hall, Herron School of Art and Design’s main academic building and home to its furniture making department.

Hundreds of furniture craftspeople either born, trained or living in Indiana submitted proposals to have their works displayed in the exhibit. Eleven of the 24 artists have ties to Herron: Six are students or graduates; one is faculty/staff; and four are both.

“So many of the people who submitted pieces were Herron graduates. … When you look at how many (Herron graduates) were accepted, it is pretty much obvious Herron has an exceptional program,” said David Buchanan, the museum’s curator of decorative objects and furniture.

The selected artists include recent students as well as graduates from as early as 1982, reflecting Herron’s history of success in training students over the years. “Herron’s built an incredible furniture design program. It’s at the very pinnacle now,” Buchanan said.

The exhibit’s name reflects a trait considered essential for anyone making a career of designing and building furniture in a studio. “We were commenting on the idea that people who do this must have a strong sense of fearlessness. They are creating one-of-a kind pieces and trying to make a living,” Buchanan said.

Cory Robinson, associate professor and fine arts department chair at Herron, is one of three artists the museum invited to anchor the show. Robinson, also a Herron alumnus, was chosen “because of the program Herron has built and the direction it’s going,” said Meredith McGovern, the Indiana State Museum’s arts and culture collections manager.

Another show anchor is Laura Drake, assistant professor of industrial design at Purdue University. Drake, also a Herron alumna, was chosen because of Purdue’s industrial design program and its furniture component, the museum said.

In addition to Robinson and Drake, Herron-related artists in “Fearless Furniture” are Erin Behling, BFA ’99; Ray Duffey, MFA ’11 and Herron shop technician; Reagan Furqueron assistant professor and director of foundations; Matt Hutton, BFA ’99; James Lee, BFA ’82; Phillip Tennant, retired professor; Steven Sander, BFA ’12; Robert Sibley, completed foundation studies at Herron; and Colin Tury, second-year MFA degree candidate.

Fifty-eight artists submitted a total of 139 pieces for the juried component of the exhibition. Wendy Maruyama, professor emerita of woodworking and design at San Diego State University, juried “Fearless Furniture.” Maruyama will present a lecture at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the Indiana State Museum, followed by a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition. Museum admission tickets are not required to attend the lecture or reception, which are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve seats for Maruyama’s talk, call the museum at 317-232-1637.

Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Regular admission tickets, which include admission to the “Fearless Furniture” exhibit, are $5.50 each for children 12 and under; and $10 each for adults.