Professor Donald Fortescue was the chair of the Furniture Program from 1997 to 2009. Donald has exhibited widely internationally, received many grants and awards, taught at several design and art schools, maintained a commercial furniture studio in Australia for 10 years, and worked with leading furniture-makers and craftspeople in Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States.
He immigrated to the United States in 1997 and has since pursued a more sculptural approach in his work. In 2001 he had a solo exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) as an inaugural winner of its Experimental Design Award. His work is in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), the National Gallery of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney), the Art Gallery of South Australia, and other public and private collections.
He has received a Virginia S. Groot Foundation Award, several grants from the Australia Council (the Australian equivalent of the NEA), and was the inaugural Education Fellow of the FOR-SITE Foundation in 2007. His piece Sounding, created with Lawrence LaBianca, was selected for Bay Area Now 5 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2009 and is on exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum in Boston throughout 2010. His most recent solo exhibition, Genius Loci, was at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in Sonoma in 2009.