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HWS, Miles and May the Focus

An article in the Finger Lakes Times on Sunday, Oct. 10, featured the upcoming exhibit of specialty furniture makers Brandon and Amy Phillips of Geneva. The exhibit is being curated by Kirin Makker, assistant professor of architecture at HWS, and held at the Davis Gallery in Houghton House.

“First and foremost, I wanted to feature the furniture of Miles and May because Amy and Brandon Phillips produce extraordinary work that meets certain standards I try to instill in my students through my studio instruction,” Makker is quoted.

The article also notes “Hobart students Rickey Lyman and Ben Ahern are interning at the Cracker Factory with the Phillips. In addition, 2010 Hobart architectural studies graduate Trevor Kneble is working full-time with Brandon Phillips in making furniture.”

The full article follows.

The Finger Lakes Times
Exhibit to showcase Miles and May furniture

David L. Shaw • October 10, 2010

GENEVA – Specialty furniture makers Brandon and Amy Phillips of Geneva will exhibit their Miles and May furniture in the newly-renovated Davis Gallery in Houghton House on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus.

The exhibit opened Friday and will continue until Nov. 12. Houghton House is at Kings Lane off South Main Street.

The Phillips produce their furniture in The Cracker Factory Building at 35 Lehigh St. – the former Geneva Cutlery factory – which they own. Their furniture is considered cutting-edge design and manufacturing.

The couple moved their furniture operation from Brooklyn to Geneva, hometown of Amy Phillips, formerly Amy Nicholson, whose family runs Red Jacket Orchards.

The show will be curated by Kirin Makker, assistant professor of architecture at the Colleges. “First and foremost, I wanted to feature the furniture of Miles and May because Amy and Brandon Phillips produce extraordinary work that meets certain standards I try to instill in my students through my studio instruction,” Makker said.

She said those standards are a design process that begins with a respect for materials’ unique properties, attention to detail and craftsmanship, a high degree of finish that does not hide a material’s unique “flaws” and a solid business practice that is very green.

“Brandon’s work has an international reputation, but they have worked hard to keep their company small so that they can control the quality of their product and also keep their clientele an everyday customer,” Makker said.

Makker said furniture design is easy for people to look at, assess and form an opinion about. The exhibit is also designed to let the public know about the Phillips’ efforts at The Cracker Factory in bringing more arts, industry and community development to Geneva.

This year, Hobart students Rickey Lyman and Ben Ahern are interning at the Cracker Factory with the Phillips.In addition, 2010 Hobart architectural studies graduate Trevor Kneble is working full-time with Brandon Phillips in making furniture.

HWS architecture professor Stanley Mathews called the Phillips’ operation “excellent examples of the kind of alternative development that cities can use to replace lost economies.”

“Geneva should offer vacant real estate to artists and designers and encourage them to relocate here,” Mathews said.