Lamps and Other Useful Items

Back to Exhibitions Transmission Gallery San Francisco

Lamps and Other Useful Items

Nov 4 — Dec 24, 2022

Check gallery website for hours and additional info

November 4th – December 24th

Opening Reception: Sunday, November 6th, 2 – 5pm

Art to Live with: one of a kind lighting and other useful objects by Garry Knox Bennett, Ken Kalman, Cork Marcheschi, and Alison McLennan, all ready to go, just in time for the holidays. ​Fine craft, unique functional art, pick out something special as a gift, or to light up your living space, and take it home directly.


A hidden message with a rare 60’s era Squirkenworks peace symbol (a bit of Bay Area history), repurposed dish ware, fine crafted woods,  a glowing side table, a 6ft. tall standing column light,  cast glass skulls,  sea anemone spines and man made materials are just a few of the elements at play in “Lamps and Other Useful Items.” Quirky, elegant, and unusual, these pieces by Garry Knox Bennett, Ken Kalman, Cork Marcheschi and Alison McLennan are well worth seeing in person at Transmission Gallery San Francisco, 35 Bartlett St, in the Mission District. Gallery hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 1-6 pm, and by appointment (closed November 25th, and closing at 4 pm on Christmas Eve).

The four artists with works in the exhibition are notable for their long histories and prodigious list of exhibitions, including Bay Area artist and craftsman, Garry Knox Bennett, whose unconventional approach to fine craft furniture and functional objects influenced American furniture making and placed him at the intersection of art, design and fine craft, with works held in the collections of both art museums and museums focused on design and fine craft.

Likewise, sculptor Cork Marcheschi grew up in the Bay Area, however, his passions took a markedly different route into ideas of energy transmission through electricity, sound, music and light, leading to ventures as a musician, in music production, film, theatrical lighting and nearly fifty large-scale public art commissions in the course of his career. His work has exhibited in the US and internationally. Marcheschi’s pieces in the exhibition reflect his attention to energy and light with a cosmic inclination to the work.

Also, represented in the exhibition are works by sculptor, Ken Kalman. Originally from Detroit, Kalman’s long Bay Area career has been focused primarily on metal fabrication with a keen interest in repurposing materials, be it resuscitated  copper gutters or redirected glass dish ware. Kalman’s work includes an extensive list of corporate and private sculpture commissions, both decorative and functional, from seating and grand entry corporate desks  to large scale riveted metal animals in outdoor settings.  His pieces in the show range from table top lamps with found object elements to larger pieces, such as the 6 ft light tower and a large-scale winged light featuring retro cartoon characters.

Beautifully detailed with unexpected combinations of mixed  woods, extraordinary high craft furniture pieces by Alison McLennan round out the exhibition.

​More About the Artists

Garry Knox Bennett:

Ever the consummate craftsman, Bennett reveled in the exploration and design of everyday objects, unpretentiously elevating them from the arena of routine utility, and they are meant to be used, to the realm of art and high craft.

Notable early on for contributions to metal plating as well as the use of unexpected combinations of materials, Bennett’s unconventional perspective and drive has profoundly influenced American furniture making.  His long career includes major exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City,  and Oakland Museum, traveling exhibition, Garry Knox Bennett: Call Me Chairmaker, and an extensive exhibition history dating back to 1960. Works are included in museum collections including the Museum of Arts and Design, de young Museum, Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Montreal Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Ravine Art Museum, Renwick Gallery and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

More About Garry Knox Bennett including his bio, special links to interviews and articles, as well as his extensive exhibition record: HERE

Cork Mrcheschi:

Cork Marcheschi (mark-e-ski; born April 5, 1945) is an American sculptor and musician, most notably recognized for his pioneering use of light in sculpture. His large body of public art work, and founding influential avant-garde psychedelic rock band Fifty Foot Hose. In the words of curator David Ryan, “Through art, music, writing, collecting and teaching, Cork Marcheschi saw the light early on — pursuing it in its many permutations — perfecting his artistry, a sculptural vision now widely admired.”

More about Cork Marcheschi including his bio, extensive exhibition record, and career as a musician and film maker: HERE

Ken Kalman:

Born in Detroit Michigan in 1955, when the Motor City ruled the world, it seems fitting that Ken Kalman felt compelled to embrace the medium he has chosen. But unlike the Motor City, Ken found his inspiration from seeing the harmony and the irony in the world around him. And unlike the Motor City, Kalman has only gotten better and more prolific over the years. Decades in, his exhibition record is lengthy with a number of articles and awards and a prodigious list of collectors and corporate and private commissions.

More about Ken Kalman, including his education and exhibition record as well as the list of his awards and publications: HERE

Contact us for commissions at

Alison McLennan:

Alison McLennan sidestepped her Cornell education in Entomology making an expedition to California to meet Garry Knox Bennett and so beginning a profoundly productive relationship built around fine craft and furniture making. 20 years later, McLennan purchased all of Bennett’s equipment and moved it to Alameda point to further pursue her passion for woodworking. McLennan leans heavily into the arena of fine craft furniture with an exhibition history that includes  shows  from Massachusetts to New York to Indianapolis, Colorado and California.  Keen attention to detail and a refined sense for intermixing woods are evident in the works on view at Transmission Gallery, including “Coffee Table”  which includes five kinds of wood and gold plated brass detail.

More about Alison McLennan, including her exhibition history: HERE
Contact us for commissions at