Greenville furniture maker and ECU alumnus Stuart Kent ’08 returned last month from a year-long teaching and research project in Costa Rica underwritten by a Fulbright Core Grant.
He worked as a visiting assistant professor of sculpture at the National University of Costa Rica in Heredia. He taught workshops on wood joinery and finishing, and helped develop a curriculum for furniture design.
The project raised awareness of two species of sustainable, tropical hardwoods. Kent organized exhibitions to demonstrate possible uses for these two trees.
Since returning to the United States he has worked to connect timber growers in Costa Rica with American lumber dealers, opening a viable path to market for a cost effective and sustainable new raw material. Kent also organized the nation’s first major international public art event, after which the works by artists from seven nations were donated to the city of Heredia.
Kent was assisted in his work by his wife, Susan Kent ’04.