Furniture Maker Retreat @ Monson Arts: Summary

The Maine Crafts Association is pleased to partner with Monson Arts to offer a  four-day retreat and planning session for twelve of Maine’s experienced and emerging furniture makers to develop ideas for new work. The retreat takes place on the Monson Arts campus, in Monson, Maine June 9 – 12, 2022.

Maine Furniture Maker Retreat: How to Attend

The Maine Crafts Association is managing a nomination/invitation process for twelve Maine furniture makers to attend the retreat. The makers will attend the retreat and receive room and board at no cost and receive a $200 stipend thanks to the partnership with Monson Arts and funding from The Belvedere Fund for Handcrafts.

The twelve makers will represent a diverse group of artists in age, gender, race, and career level. Nominations are being accepted now and invitations will be extended on a rolling basis in relation to the demographics represented. If you or someone you know is interested in attending please fill out the form below.

Furniture Maker Retreat @ Monson Arts: Program Details

Monson Arts’ mission is to provide time and space for creative work. Monson itself was once the home of Moosehead Manufacturing, a nationally known maker of high quality furniture that closed in 2007, resulting in the loss of 250 jobs. Monson Arts wants to foster the spirit of ingenuity that went into Moosehead’s handmade furniture by working with Maine Crafts Association to bring experienced and emerging designers/makers of furniture to Monson, both to provide an opportunity for these makers to experiment and work together and also to talk with the staff at Monson Arts about ways that we can help support studio furniture in the region and the state. Craftspeople focused on their livelihood don’t always have the time to develop new ideas and reflect on their work or to work in a community of like-minded makers.

The retreat will provide a setting where studio furniture makers can have uninterrupted time to develop new ideas for their work and also provide an opportunity for emerging and experienced craftspeople to work side by side.

Maine Furniture Makers Retreat @ Monson Arts: Goals
  • To provide a retreat where makers can develop new ideas.
  • To foster cooperation and communication between generations of makers.
  • To help Monson Arts in developing initiatives that promote studio-based craft work in the region.

Twelve emerging and experienced furniture makers will be selected by the Maine Crafts Association to come for an intensive four-day retreat session at Monson Arts. Housing, meals, and studio space will be provided for free. Specific activities will include:

  • Public presentations by all of the makers.
  • Uninterrupted studio time and access to woodworking equipment.
  • Guided discussions with Maine Crafts Association and Monson Arts staff to talk about challenges and opportunities in the field.
  • Presentations by other furniture experts, makers and historians

We want to engage established and emerging studio furniture makers/designers in activities that will promote creative growth. This will be done through uninterrupted time to use Monson Arts facilities to develop ideas for new work. We want to connect Monson Arts with furniture makers and with the Maine Crafts Association to both promote the region and to help our organization understand the needs of furniture makers in Maine.

About Monson Arts

Monson Arts began in 2017 with the support of the Libra Foundation. The mission is two-fold: to spur economic development in the region through the arts and to provide time and space for creative work for both professionals and amateurs. Monson Arts offers month-long and two-week long residencies for artists and writers, holds intensive summer workshops, and educational programs for schools in the region. Participants in the artists’ residencies and workshops come from throughout the US (25 states and 8 countries). Participants in the school workshops are elementary and secondary students from communities within a 60 mile radius of Monson.