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Lessons from the Chair – A Panel Discussion

April 15, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Lessons from a Chair | Thurs. April 15, 2021 | 6:30 pm EST | LIVE on ZOOM

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Join us for an evening with Don Miller, a woodworker, luthier, and educator; Mi-Kyoung Lee, Professor and Program Director of Craft+Material Studies at the University of the Arts; and two of their former students, Joong Han Bae and Nick Flaherty. We’ll talk about the fundamentals of building a chair, and—perhaps more importantly—how learning a skill impacts our own growth and understanding of the object as an extension of the physical and metaphysical body.

Don Miller is a Philadelphia-based woodworker and educator. He holds an MFA in 3D Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied musical instrument design at London College of Furniture. After 14 years of teaching at The University of the Arts, Miller retired as an Associate Professor from Crafts & Material Studies Program. He has participated in residencies in Sweden and South Korea. He has numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally including the Mulvane Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, Center for Craft, Seokdang Art Museum, in Korea, Steneby Skolan and Rohska Museey in Sweden. He was a contributing writer for the recent publication Craft Time in Craft Capital, written by Glen Adamson, to celebrate Contemporary Crafts and its history in Philadelphia. He makes objects, both contemplative and functional, working at the intersection of material, process and history. He inhabits a workshop in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

Mi-Kyoung Lee has been Director of the Craft and Material Studies Program since 2016, and Professor of Fibers/Textiles since 2003 at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She received her BFA from Dong-A University in Korea, and earned two master’s degrees; an MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from University of the Arts; and an MFA in Fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Arts. Lee has participated in numerous solo exhibitions, lectures as well as curatorial, publishing, theater, and collaborative projects with notable venues like the Arizona Art Museum, Cranbrook Museum of Art, Reading Public Museum, Painted Bride Art Center, SOFA in New York and Chicago, Busan Metropolitan Museum, Espace de Tisserands, International Fiber Art Fair in Seoul, Beijing International Fiber Biennale, and the 8th Beijing International Visual Art Biennale. Lee has served as a Foreign Expert from the School of Art and Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, and as an Advisory Board member for the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia since 2019.

Joonghan Bae is a 31-year-old artist and designer based in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He was born in Seoul and moved to Philadelphia in 2010, where he studied fine art and woodworking. He then moved to Bloomfield Hills to attend Cranbrook Academy of Art and received an MFA in 3D Design in 2020. He takes inspiration from nature, man-made structures, and fantasy while playing with the boundaries between form and function. Bae grew up in a house full of Suseok. Suseok is a Korean traditional form of art centered around collecting stones, which his grandfather avidly practiced. He remembers the visceral feeling of the stones and how they were both comforting and inspired his imagination. As a son of an architect/ engineer, he appreciates the collective human mind that allows us to create great man-made structures. With these legacies, many of his works explore the emotional response to nature, fantasy, and the beauty of human reason.

Nick Flaherty is a woodworker, woodturner and carpenter living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He attended the fine woodworking program at Bucks County Community College before receiving his BFA from the University of the Arts in 2019. He has received numerous Windgate Foundation awards and scholarships and has participated in residencies at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Penland School of Crafts.  He was in the midst of plotting and seamlessly executing his global takeover when the pandemic halted his plans.  He currently works as a residential carpenter, incorporating his fine woodworking skills directly into clients homes.


This event is free to the public. The Center for Art in Wood interprets, nurtures, and champions creative engagement and expansion of art, craft, and design in wood to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of it. A suggested donation of $5 per person enables us to provide programs and exhibitions throughout the year.


Questions? Please contact Katie Sorenson, Senior Manager of Partnerships and Engagement at [email protected].


April 15, 2021
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


The Center for Art in Wood
(215) 923-8000
View Organizer Website


The Center for Art in Wood
141 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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(215) 923-8000
View Venue Website