Pittsburgh Furniture Maker Takes Home Top Prize

Penn State grad Mike Korsak​, who designs and builds furniture on commission, can add another honor to his growing list of accomplishments.


winning design

Already an award-winning furniture maker, Penn State grad Mike Korsak​, who designs and builds furniture on commission, can add another honor to his growing list of accomplishments. The Pittsburgh-based furniture maker, whose work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the nation, took home first prize in the Craft category at the Art of the State exhibit June 28 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
Korsak’s award-winning walnut and birdseye maple cabinet was one of 126 pieces selected from nearly 1,600 entries to the statewide-juried competition. Now in its 48th year, the Art of the State showcases the commonwealth’s established and emerging artists.
If you’re traveling to Harrisburg this summer, be sure to stop by the State Museum to get an up-close look at Korsak’s piece, as well as designs from other Pennsylvania artists. The exhibit, which opened to the public June 28, runs through Sept. 13. You’ll be filled with Pennsylvania pride.
(The State Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 North St., Harrisburg; 717/787-4980, statemuseumpa.org)

design inspiration

Anyone who has moved into a new abode knows the challenges of making the home one’s own. Interior designer Bethany Williard is no different. The owner of Studio 1049, Williard, 28, moved into her grandmother’s Bridgeville home almost two years ago. She promptly began putting her stamp on the home’s sunroom while incorporating some of her grandmother’s “country” pieces.
“My design aesthetic is eclectic and modern, with not too many knickknacks,” she says. “I like to keep it simple.” To update the sunroom, Williard kept the classic white walls, but added a graphic — and budget-friendly — black-and-white rug from Ikea. An orange settee found at West Elm, plus an armchair covered in blue velvet, add pops of color to the room.
To add texture, not to mention create a fun gathering spot for friends, Williard parked a bar cart filled with glassware in front of the already exposed brick wall. Floating shelves topped with eclectic art pieces give the room a modern edge.
For Williard, mixing the old with the new was a great way to create a fresh room while retaining the special memories she shared with her grandmother. “If you have a really modern style and mix it up with more traditional pieces, there are endless options for sophisticated looks,” she says.

news + events

Learn how the sun can power your home — and save you money — with the Harness the Sun: Solar Home Projects & Energy Saving Tips workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 16 at Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus in Richland Township.
(6035 Ridge Road; 412/365-1375, chatham.edu)
Create a memorable piece of artwork from reclaimed wood during this Pop Craft Art workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. today at The BeerHive in the Strip District. Pop Craft will provide the reclaimed wood — from a century-old carriage house — acrylic paints and design ideas. The cost is $40 per person.  
(2117 Penn Ave., Strip District; 412/904-4502, popcraftart.com)


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