Adam John Manley's Profile

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Biographical Information

Adam John Manley is currently Assis­tant Profes­sor of Furni­ture Design and Wood­work­ing at San Diego State Univer­sity, and has taught full time at Maine College of Art and UMass Dart­mouth, and as adjunct at Univer­sity of New Hamp­shire. He has also taught exten­sively at Haystack Moun­tain School of Craft and in the summer of 2019 at Penland School of Craft. Adam has done resi­den­cies at UW Madison, where he was the Windgate Artist in Resi­dence, the Haystack Open studio Resi­dency, and the Lanes­boro resi­dency in South­ern Minnesota. He is looking forward to an upcom­ing resi­dency at the Center For Art in Wood as a summer 2021 ITE fellow.

Adam was born and raised in the Adiron­dack moun­tains of New York State, and attended the SUNY New Paltz, receiv­ing a degree in Polit­i­cal science and Inter­na­tional rela­tions. During this time, Adam fell in love with wood­work­ing, found­ing a coop­er­a­tive studio and gallery with a group of friends in Kingston, in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley. Having been Raised by a weaver and a boat builder/​carpenter, working with one’s hands came natu­rally to Adam. After working for several years as a furni­ture maker, and hoping to deepen his connec­tions between making and ideas, Adam moved to San Diego Cali­for­nia, where he received his MFA in Furni­ture Design and Wood­work­ing.

In grad­u­ate school, Adam devel­oped a unique voice that blended func­tional construc­tion method­olo­gies, mate­r­ial explo­ration, and a focus on the concep­tual poten­tial embod­ied within craft, furni­ture, and func­tional famil­iar objects. Since grad­u­ate school, Adam has taught at numer­ous insti­tu­tions, from colleges to craft schools, and contin­ued to develop his ideas and work in an ever-evolv­ing way. Adam’s work has addressed issues relat­ing to our unique sense of place and how famil­iar func­tional objects link us to that sense, humor, indi­vid­ual and univer­sal rela­tion­ships to furni­ture, and, more recently, the rela­tion­ship between furni­ture and the histor­i­cal objects used to inflict violence on others through­out time. This work is currently Adam’s focus and is expand­ing from an initial small solo exhi­bi­tion at the Indi­anapo­lis Art Center. Adam is the co-founder, along with colleague Keri­anne Quick, of the contem­po­rary craft zine/​journal, CRAFT DESERT.


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