Christine Franck • The Artisan Craft in America

We are pleased to welcome you to a lecture by Christine Franck at 2:30 pm, Friday, November 14th.  To complete our year long series “The Art of the Craft”, Christine will present her lecture “The Artisan Craft in America”.  Christine has an extraordinary background as a designer and educator and was the first Executive Director of the ICAA. She recently joined the University of Colorado, Denver, as  the first Director of Contemporary Traditional Architecture Initiatives.  See Christine’s website HERE for more of her biography.

We will gather at 2:00 pm prior to Christine’s lecture at 2:30.  The meet will be located at the downtown Nashville public library in conference room 3 (there is a discount for parking in the library garage with front-desk validation)​.  This event will be $10 for ICAA members, $50 for non members.  RSVP HERE.  Please see ICAA membership information HERE.

Our Annual Meeting is typically held this time of year. Due to unforseen circumstances, the traditional two day series has been concentrated into this one afternoon session.  Christine is an excellent speaker and will certainly be a treat for all.  This will also be an informative session regarding the national ICAA.  The ICAA is freshly emerging with a healthy and exciting new philosophy addressing our core purpose for education.

We hope to see YOU there!

An evening with Alfred Sharp

Under the stars of September’s close and within the comfortable confines of their Bobby McAlpine designed courtyard, Margaret and James Dunn graciously hosted the chapter for a talk by Alfred Sharp featuring his artful, one-piece-at-a-time, handmade furniture created in Old World manner.  Alf’s talk was part of this year’s Art of the Craft series of presentations.  He is a master of high and low relief carving, inlay, marquetry, and French polishing.  His commissions are accepted in most historical styles as well as contemporary and original design. Alf has over thirty years in the studio furniture field and has completed fine commissions for a number of historical homes and museums, as well as many private and corporate clients.  We give a heartfelt thanks to the Dunns for opening their stunning home to the chapter and for Alf’s personal presentation of his extraordinary work. Please see an album of photos here. (photos by Paula Eller)


Tour of Emmanuel Stained Glass Studio- Nashville

Photo by Chris Eller

In June, we continued our Art of the Craft presentations at the extraordinary Emmanuel Stained Glass Studio in Nashville.  It is refreshing to find an artisan so filled with passion for a talent and craft.  One such artisan is Dennis Harmon.  For our tour, Dennis led us through his studio, a  fascinating expedition into the world of fine stained glass, revealing the extraordinary effort and eye for detail required to create timeless works of art that take every advantage of natural light.  During Dennis Harmon’s career, he has apprenticed under Richard Millard, Albinas Elskus and Ludwig Schaffrath.  Dennis is the primary artist and designer at Emmanuel Studio and has extensive experience in all aspects of leaded and faceted glass. From 2001 through 2003, he served as President of the Stained Glass Association of America, an organization dedicated to the advancement of the craft of stained and decorative art glass. Dennis is also a licensed Tennessee contractor.

William B. Brimm, Jr is the vice president of Emmanuel Studio. Bill’s career in stained glass began in California after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Middle Tennessee State University in 1977.  He joined Emmanuel Studio Inc. in 1979 and became part-owner in 1986. In addition to his work in stained glass, Bill designs and fabricates sculptures made of glass, steel, concrete, and various found objects. He is also the author of Peru in Focus, a photographic essay of his experiences in Peru.

See additional photos of our tour here.

Photo by Chris Eller



An Evening with Elizabeth Brandon and Joseph Sulkowski

Mildly stated, our visit with Joseph Sulkowski and Elizabeth Brandon was an enlightening occasion.  The intimate studio at Marathon Village (Historic Marathon Motor Car Factory) came alive with their recounts of skill honing in New York City under the guise of  classical artist Frank Mason.  Joseph craftily demonstrated and explained some early methods and alchemies of hand-made pigment and made the beginning of a new classically-portrayed painting look easy.  Our deep thanks go to Joseph and Elizabeth for inviting us into their studio for a presentation beyond expectation.  See their individual websites for additional background information and commissions: Elizabeth Brandon / Joseph Sulkowski   Click here for an album of photos from the evening.

2013 Annual Meeting

Much was learned through our events and speakers at the chapter’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Nashville.  With a wonderful evening tour of the Emery home in Belle Meade, we started things off right.  The Emery’s home was designed by architect Ken Tate.  Amazingly this all-new home, with its accurate historical details, appears as though it evolved over the past two centuries, up to the present with modern conveniences added. Before and during the design process, the architect wrote a fictitional historical account of the house chronicling it’s history of improvements, expansions and even a damaging fire that once occurred.
Friday morning brought a delightful tour of the Tennessee State Capitol as only Jim Hoobler could deliver.  He brought to life the building’s fascinating history as it overcame construction challenges, survived the Civil War, underwent many political transformations, and adapted to improvements in technology (sometimes the adaptations were elegant and sometimes not so much). Jim Hoobler knows how to make the walls talk.A short walk across downtown Nashville brought us to an iconic private home, once the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  The upper floors are now a private residence and the original lower floors and previously-added ballroom are selectively used for events.  After a tasty Tuscan box lunch, we were treated to a narrative and presentation by Dr. Michael Spalding of the influences, design and construction of his and his wife Mary’s beautiful Palladian-inspired home in Belle Meade (the Spaldings generously hosted the chapter for a cocktail social to kick off last year’s Annual Meeting). Calder Loth provided a captivating keynote presentation from his intensive research of the history, style and methods of Andrea Palladio. Mr. Loth is the senior architectural historian at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  He is an advisory council to the ICAA and regularly contributes to the ICAA blog.
Comfortably settling in for a theater room viewing of the classic 1979 film adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Chris Simonson eloquently introduced the opera and its story and treated us to a few phrases from the opera with his wonderfully talented operatic voice.  Just outside the theater was another very special treat.  Our own past president and barista aficionado, Brent Baldwin, was hard at work providing the coffee lovers with fantastic espresso from select fresh-roasted beans.  Please see more photos of the Annual Meeting here



Ben Page – Juror for Stanford White Awards

We are excited that our very own Ben Page of Page/Duke Landscape Architects will be a juror this year for the prestigious Stanford White Awards in New York City.   Congratulations!

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