The Chippendale school is delighted to announce that Professor Richard Demarco CBE will be awarding the fourth annual Demarco Prize 2019 at a reception in Edinburgh next month.

Professor Demarco is a leading arts commentator and a leading advocate for contemporary art.

His contributions to contemporary art have been recognised on numerous occasions, receiving the Polish Gold Order of Merit, the Cavaliere della Republica d’Italia, and the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres de France.

Richard is also honorary president of the Fine Furniture Guild, an association of alumni of the Chippendale school.

He has been one of Scotland’s most influential artistic figures for many years through his work at the Richard Demarco Gallery and the Demarco European Art Foundation, as well as his professorship at Kingston University in London.

Art and design

His annual prize recognises the student whose work best reflects art in furniture design or how art and cabinetmaking can make a positive impact on an individual’s life.

The importance of artistic creation is recognised within the Chippendale school’s curriculum and how artistic vision is an important element in creating furniture that will be valued across generations.

The Richard Demarco Prize 2018 was awarded to an American student, John Grillo, whose walnut table was completed with a dozen pieces of pepperwood veneer to form a simple, flowing yet geometrically-complex design.

The unusual veneer, from a tree species native to America and which was once chewed for its anaesthetic properties, created a tactile surface that, said Demarco, “elevated the table from something functional to a work of art.

The year before, the Demarco Prize went to Nick Smith, a Scottish student, who transformed his Kawasaki Ninja 600cc motorbike with intricate burr ash veneers with walnut accents to replace the bike’s original plastic fairings.

The inaugural Demarco Prize was awarded to Graham Clark, another Scotland-based student, who had fought his way back from serious injury to qualify as a furniture designer.

“Art has an important part to play in the healing process and the inspiration it provides is amply reflected in Graham’s craftsmanship and the beauty of his finished work,” said Professor Demarco, at the award presentation.

Main picture: Graham and Richard

This year there will be a public exhibition of our students’ work at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh on Monday 10th June (12 noon – 8pm) and Tuesday 11th June (10am – 8pm).  There will also be a public Open Evening at the school on Friday 14th June (6pm – 8pm) and a public Open Day on Saturday 15th June (10am – 4pm).