ACC Member Spotlight: Mark Laub

ACC Member Spotlight: Mark Laub

Mark Laub

ACC member and furniture artist, Mark Laub; Photo: Courtesy of Mark Laub

Our next Member Spotlight is Twin Cities furniture maker and ACC member Mark Laub. He shares how he came to craft, the value he finds in supporting and being a member of ACC, and what craft means to him. Plus, watch a video of him unveiling a commissioned cabinet in real-time at the 2015 ACC show in St. Paul.

Tell us a little bit about you — the work you do, what inspires you, and how you came to craft.
I am a furniture maker who creates artful objects that encourage and reward close examination and exploration. My specialty is display cabinets and consoles. The real beauty of these pieces lies within, hidden in drawers and behind doors. Inspiration is everywhere! My furniture has been influenced by Erte art deco clothing fashions, brain coral, the Chrysler Building elevator doors, trillium petals, the enfolded leaves of succulents, the front fender skirts from a 1949 Delahaye, the tracing flight of swallows, Neil Young, Chopin, and the rings of Saturn. I make furniture, but I don’t believe the world needs more furniture. It needs more art. Or, at least, more artful furniture. Design and form is everything to me, so my bus rarely slows up for function. I spent most of my life in the corporate world. Life has been better since I jumped and wound up happier. I studied for years with my heroes, started my own furniture design company, and partnered up with fellow artists to run Xylos, a co-op gallery.

What was your first experience with ACC?
I first took notice of ACC when I read a column written by Monica Moses in the Feb./Mar. 2011 issue of American Craft. It was called “10,000 Opportunities.” In the article, she writes, “'How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.'"..."life is short," and "the future is now.” Wow, I thought: She really gets it! In fact, perhaps it was really me finally beginning to understand. The column still hangs on the wall of my studio.

You're a member who has been to (and in) our shows, attended Salon Series events, and had your work on display at our office. What's your favorite part about being a member?
My favorite part about being a member of ACC is the opportunity to meet many like-minded, creative people. People who are passionate about the creative process and who understand what art can do for your own soul and psyche. The recognition that making deposits in one’s own heart account is more important than the deposits made in a bank account.

What led you to become a Patron Society donor to ACC, and why is supporting the organization important to you?
I financially support ACC because they are the national champions and the cheerleaders for craft. Without ACC there is no plan B. They remind all the makers and educate the general public that craft remains relevant, and that making craft is honorable. ACC plays an important leadership role in providing resources to both makers and buyer/collectors. The magazine, the shows, the salon series, the library, and the accessible staff all work together to help us survive making art. We all want to be sure that the objects we are passionate about making are ultimately purchased by buyers/collectors who share that same passion. ACC completes the circle by helping make that happen.

You won an Award of Excellence at our St. Paul craft show in 2013. How has being involved with ACC impacted your career?
All of us who are trying to make a living as artists need to think through how different sales channels can serve our business. Adding the ACC shows to my own mix is the single best marketing decision I have made. Also, advertising in American Craft magazine has allowed me to reach exactly the right demographic.

What does craft mean to you?
I take great comfort knowing that as an artist, I travel the same road as the great masters. Throughout time, all societies and cultures are primarily remembered for their art. While, of course, I obviously will never come close to that level of expertise, I do enjoy the journey on that well worn road. I love what I do, so I will never “work” another day in my life!

Member Spotlight features American Craft Council members and their connection to craft. Are you a member who would like to be featured? Let us know! Would you like to become an ACC member? Join today!