Ellerbe Artist's Hardwood Creations Displayed at Campbell House
The unique hardwood furniture of designer and artist Kenneth T. Forte will be on display at the Campbell House Galleries starting Nov. 5 and closing Dec. 17.
Forte, a designer and artist with exceptional skills, knowledge and appreciation for hardwoods, resides in the small community of Ellerbe. During his formative years, he enjoyed many trips to sawmills and furniture manufacturing plants with his father, who was a teacher and cabinetmaker. Forte learned many skills from his father, which enhanced his innate love and appreciation of hardwoods.
As a teen working in a furniture plant, Forte became increasingly disenchanted with mass production furniture. It was during this period that he began to question their alteration of nature's perfection by fabricating countless pieces of identical furniture. Then, while studying in Europe in the 1960s, Forte observed many artists paying ritualistic attention to their techniques and mediums. This convinced Forte to become the best artist he could be based on his love of hardwoods.
Forte earned a bachelor's degree in animal science in 1972, and after 34 years in corporate assignments, he decided to devote his full-time efforts to creating art and educating the public.
In 1991, Forte was appointed to an 18-member international advisory council of artists, administrators and educators by the National African-American Museum and Cultural Center, Wilberforce, Ohio. Several of Forte's works were selected for the nationally touring exhibition "Uncommon Beauty in Common Objects: The Legacy of African-American Artists." The exhibition opened in Wilberforce and traveled to the American Craft Museum, in New York City, and the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, in Washington, D.C.
Forte's works have been exhibited and commissioned both nationally and internationally by the White House Pageant of Peace, the National African-American Museum and Cultural Center in Philadelphia, Pa., the National Black Arts Festival, in Atlanta, Ga., and many respected galleries in Ohio.
Forte will display a wide variety of his furniture designs, including some of his earlier pieces, at the Campbell House Galleries.
"My works are my legacy," says Forte, "and I specialize in one-of-kind custom hardwood furniture, moldings, turnings and sculptures, all made from domestic and imported hardwoods."
"A Spectrum of Uncommon Hardwoods," featuring works by Kenneth T. Forte and paintings by local artist Paula Montgomery, opens Friday, Nov. 5, with a reception to meet the artists from 6 to 8 p.m. Ruffles and Bill Clement, Suzanne Daughtridge, Mary and Bill Gozzi, Alison and Marc Kemple, and Barbara and Joe McAuley host the reception, which is free and open to the public. The exhibit is on display through Dec. 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. The galleries will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26, for Thanksgiving. The Campbell House Galleries are located at 482 East Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines.
For more information about the November exhibit, contact the Arts Council of Moore County at (910) 692-4356 or visit the Arts Council website at www.mooreart.org.
More like this story