Manchester, New Hampshire, a city that retains the stoic beauty of its industrial past, is the perfect setting for Vivian Beer’s furniture-making studio. Beer has made a career of infusing her pieces with industrial history and subtle pop culture references. Every design choice, from the raw material to the paint color, is made to create industrial art that one can both enjoy and contemplate. Beer finds ways to bend and weld metal to make her creations flow and dance, and she draws inspiration from everyday beauty that others might overlook. “I think overpasses are just as beautiful as gothic cathedrals,” she says.
A native of Maine, Beer often travels for inspiration and research, and has been an artist-in-residence in several states. In New England, her work can be found in the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, and in public space in Portland, as well as in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Beer also won Ellen’s Design Challenge in 2016 on HGTV, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Throughout the show, you can watch Vivian lose herself in the work. “They were giving me a hard time in the last interview that I wasn’t more excited,” Beer said. “I never let myself think that I could win.”
Vivian Beer Studio Works: Manchester, New Hampshire. vivianbeer.com
Photo (top): Bill Truslow