The Center for Art in Wood is pleased to present the work of renowned wood artist Merryll Saylan in an exhibition celebrating the timeline of her career. When she began turning in the 1970s, Saylan was one of few women in the craft field. While her contemporaries gravitated toward furniture-making and the use of exotic woods, Saylan—who came from a background in modern and contemporary design—focused on surface, using wood as a blank canvas for compositions in color and texture. Her experiments with stains, pigments, texture, and auto body finishes represented a new approach in the field, with connections to abstract painting.
Guest Curator Glenn Adamson writes that Saylan’s work draws “sometimes humorously, sometimes poignantly—from the world of everyday things….her objects dwell right in that interesting space between unremarkable normalcy and aesthetic transcendence, which we all inhabit all the time.”
The exhibition program at the Center is generously supported by the Cambium Giving Society of The Center for Art in Wood, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Windgate Charitable Foundation. Corporate support is provided by Boomerang, Inc., Penn State Industries, Signarama Center City, and Sun-lite Corporation.