The Eye and The Hand: The Bienenstock Art Exhibit

The shelves of the Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, NC.

While High Point Market may be all about discovering the latest trends and newest styles in the furniture design and home furnishings industry, the art of furniture design has been around for centuries. And thanks to our very own Bienenstock Furniture Library, 600 years of design history can be found right here in High Point. With more than 5,000 volumes about the history of furniture design, and even a rare book collection of centuries-old design books, the Bienenstock is a treasure trove right in the middle of our city.  

With their goal, “Touch history; design the future,” the Bienenstock focuses on education that inspires. They blend the history of furniture design with fresh perspective, offering everything from seminars, panels, education, and their recent venture – the future designers’ summit. Now they are adding even more to their resources with the first-ever art exhibit.  

A gathering room in the Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, NC that offers space for conference speakers.

Open to both Market goers and the High Point public, the art exhibit offers the perfect blend of what the Bienenstock prides itself on: perspective from the past and inspiration for the future.  

The exhibit, The Eye and the Hand, came from the mind of Bienenstock board member, Gary Inman. Gary is the president of Gary Inman Interior Design as well as a professor at the David R. Hayworth School of Arts and Design at High Point University and saw the opportunity to bring national artists to the home furnishings’ hometown.  

With hand-drawn renderings by artist, Zachary Hodgin, and photographs by photographer, Stephen Shutts, The Eye and the Hand helps the viewer compare and contrast different media, viewpoints, and perspectives.  

Renderings in the art exhibit hanging on the walls at Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, NC.

Renderings by Zachary Hodgin

“You have the ‘eye,’ which is looking through the lens of a camera to capture architectural details. Then you have the ‘hand,’ which is the actual hand renderings of these amazing architectural, historical buildings,” explains Karla Jones, Executive Director at the Bienenstock Furniture Library. She points out that the art of hand-rendering has been practiced for hundreds of years, and the art of photography offers an entirely new perspective on capturing the meticulous details of architecture.  

“Hand renderings are how designers once learned perspective and projected their work,” Karla explains. “Then along came photography, which changed everything and brought a whole new existence of visuals for design. We have these two contrasting things, the eye and the hand, and these two young artists – both trained very differently and bringing something very different to the table.”  

At the exhibit, you have the opportunity to explore the works of both Zachary Hodgin and Stephen Shutts that capture everything from Biltmore Estate to St. Mark’s Basilica, to Heidelberg Palace, to the ruins of Pompeii. 

Photography in the art exhibit hanging on the walls at Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, NC.

Photography by Stephen Shutts

Karla points out that because of our city’s designation and identity as the Home Furnishings Capital, we benefit from the creativity of art and design more than just two weeks out of the year. It’s thanks to that identity, and the work of boards like the Bienenstock, that we have access every day to creative resources and exhibits like The Eye and the Hand.  

“Our town does have so many resources for design, creative minds, and, art,” Karla says. “What the home furnishings industry leaves behind are these incredible resources and available opportunities for our community to learn from and have these experiences.”  

A woman looks through a historical furniture book

High Point is the place where the world looks to discover trends that will fill our homes, offices, and spaces. It’s where our whole state, nation, and world can explore the beauty of art and design. As Gary Inman, says:  

“Everything in the world happens in High Point.”  

Discover our High Points, 

The HPD Team

Photography by Zander Betterton