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Billy Cook
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The annual residency is awarded to a Philadelphia-based artist creating contemporary art in wood


Philadelphia, PA | January 4, 2024 – The Museum for Art in Wood and NextFab have selected Philadelphia-based artist Adam Atkinson for their fourth annual Winter Residency. Launched in 2021, the program is designed for artists based in the Greater Philadelphia region who work in the material of wood with a commitment to sustainable and creative approaches. The residency will run from January 2 to February 29, 2024, and culminates in a solo exhibition at NextFab (1800 N. American Street) on March 7, 2024.

The Winter Residency Program is a collaboration between the Museum and membership-based maker space NextFab. Each year, the two organizations assemble a jury of makers and educators to award one fellowship to an artist in the region who works either solely in wood or other materials in combination with wood and demonstrates technical proficiency with woodworking equipment. The fellow receives a stipend for project materials and access to NextFab’s workshop space. Reflecting the Museum and NextFab’s support of environmental stewardship, reclaimed wood must comprise at least 50 percent of the fellow’s work during the residency.

“NextFab and the Museum for Art in Wood continually find ways for our communities to experience and benefit from our unique resources,” said Melissa Guglielmo, Director of Programming and Jewelry Supervisor at NextFab North. “The Winter Residency is a wonderful example of what can happen when an artist practicing in the field of woodworking gets access to the equipment and diverse range of creatives that work from NextFab’s studios. In return, the community at NextFab gets to work alongside the resident artist and is exposed to the high-level concepts and techniques used in their craft. From researching historical techniques to working in new materials – this residency is an opportunity to grow and connect craft with the broader maker community.”

Adam Atkinson (he/they) is a Philadelphia-based metalsmith, curator, and educator. They received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studio Practices from Boise State University in 2013 and a Master of Fine Arts in Metal Design from East Carolina University in 2019. Atkinson’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, Blowing Rock Museum of Art and History in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and Nagoya Zokei University in Japan.

Atkinson uses a variety of techniques and materials to explore different narratives in their artistic practice. In their The Orifice Series, they explored the link between the body and nature using metal and wood juxtapositions. Each piece draws upon organic, bodily imagery and fur textures overlaid on carved cherry wood; all carefully handcrafted using repousse, an ancient technique of forming sheet metal, woodcarving, and burning. Atkinson also interrogated the role traditional Ancient Roman busts played as historical markers for powerful figures in his Wood Bust Series. With these works, they questioned the legacies of the figures who have been memorialized through busts, what marks a great achievement in our society, and the role the form and function play in visualizing social structures.

“The Winter Residency Program is a collaborative effort that reflects the shared values of the Museum for Art in Wood and NextFab,” said Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Museum for Art in Wood. “As a merger of these values, the Winter Residency spotlights the innovative ways that artists here in Philadelphia are leveraging their hard-earned skills and creative visions with an ingrained responsibility for the material of wood. Each resident fellow has used these resources so creatively, and we are incredibly excited to work with Adam Atkinson this year.”

The Winter Residency exhibition will go on display at NextFab from March 7 to May 20, 2024. Following the exhibition’s opening, the Museum and NextFab will host an Artist Talk with Atkinson on March 15, where he’ll share insights into his creative process.


About the Museum for Art in Wood:

The Museum for Art in Wood is the international leader for contemporary art and creativity in the material of wood. The Museum engages, educates, and inspires the public through the exhibition, collection, and interpretation of contemporary art in wood. Founded in 1986 and sited in Philadelphia, the Museum for Art in Wood serves a local and international community. It has built its reputation by providing opportunities for makers and visitors to experience craft directly, through participatory programming; seminal exhibitions and documentation; and the growth, conservation, exhibition, and care of its permanent collection. The Museum’s practice of keeping these resources free and available to the public emphasizes its commitment to building a democratic and inclusive community. Visit museumforartinwood.org to learn more.

About NextFab

NextFab is a network of membership-based makerspaces that provide access to tools, technology, education, events, and services for makers and creatives. They offer a variety of education and startup programs, as well as professional design, production, and placemaking services for whatever your fabrication needs. Visit www.nextfab.com to learn more.