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From Home Furnishing Business

IFDA to Present Luminary Award to Ruth Clark

Ruth Clark, pioneer in upholstered furniture design, will be honored with 2014 Luminary Award by the Carolinas Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association

The award recognizes a home furnishings icon whose work has significantly furthered or promoted the home or décor industries. Clark will receive the honor at the Night of Luminaries, an awards celebration dinner, Wednesday, Nov. 5.

The industry’s Rising Stars, senior-level undergraduates selected by their colleges or universities as their most outstanding home furnishings or design student, will also be honored at the event. Rising Stars will have their works displayed at a special cocktail reception held in their honor just prior to the awards dinner.  

Clark began her career in the home furnishings industry at a time when women were rarely considered for design positions. Following her fine arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a stint in retail interior design at J. L. Hudson’s in Detroit, Mich., Clark joined upholstery manufacturer, Warren-Lloyd, Inc. as designer and fabric buyer. She came to North Carolina in the early 1960s joining Drexel Heritage as their upholstered furniture designer. Through 15 years with Drexel Heritage she helped launch some of that company’s most enduring and well-recognized designs. She left to become vice president of design with Pearson, a division of The Lane Co. at the time, responsible for styling and sample production of upholstery line as well as a number of major collections including The America Collection, designed in conjunction with Lane, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Victoria Moreland Collection, all of which encompassed upholstery, case goods and accents.

In 1995, Clark became a design consultant to Goldeneye Home Furnishings, licensors of the  Ducks Unlimited and PGA furniture collections.  Clark created these brands’ overall styling and color palettes for use not only by the furniture licensees but also their carpeting, wallcovering, and lighting sources.  During this same time she also designed the upholstered furniture collections at Councill Furniture Co., including the introduction of pieces based on antiques for the New Orleans collection.

From 2001-2013, Clark designed for Dapha, a division of Baker Furniture.

A charter member of the Carolinas Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), Clark was awarded with one of the organization’s most coveted honors—the National Honorary Recognition Award—in 1994. In 1995, the Ruth Clark Scholarship for furniture design students was established in her honor, and has since been awarded annually through the IFDA Educational Foundation. She credits the organization for the valuable networking and business collaboration opportunities it has offered her over the last 50 years.

The Night of Luminaries celebration dinner will be held at High Point Country Club, beginning with the Rising Star cocktail reception at 5 p.m.  Reservations are required and can be made through the organization’s Facebook page. Cost is $35 per person.

Contributions to the Ruth Clark Scholarship Fund can also be made through the Chapter’s Facebook page or during the awards dinner.


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