The work of Alphonse Mattia and Rosanne Somerson, parents of Izzy Mattia ’06, is the subject of Furniture: Objects and Forms, the spring Nesto Gallery exhibit that opened with a reception for students and faculty on March 31. Both Mr. Mattia and Ms. Somerson are professors of furniture design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Mr. Mattia, a lifelong educator and one of the country’s leading studio furniture makers, has been instrumental in the development of many “new generation” designers. In his lively and often self-exploratory works, Mr. Mattia, who is from a family of carpenters, strives to evoke meaning and emotion as well as utility.
Ms. Somerson, having been described by critics as “a consummate technician, aesthete and breaker of barriers,” transforms exotic woods into intimate works of art by adding a sense of movement and whimsy. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she is the recipient of 20 national and international awards. She explains, “[Alphonse] and I are inspired by totally different things. In a museum he heads one way while I head the other.”
Their works will be displayed at Milton’s Nesto Gallery from March 31 through April 27, 2006.