For the uninitiated, Jamey gained recognition as the guy who the hotelier Liz Lambert tapped to make some furniture for the Hotel San Jose in Austin and the Thunderbird in Marfa. Over the years, he and Constance developed a collection rooted in midcentury Modernism, but influenced by the West — which translates into rich saddle leather and Texas woods mixed with powder-coated steel in a variety of colors. Playing hard-to-get has made Garza Marfa even more desirable — with the exception of a few pieces at the Heath stores in California, it’s not readily available at any shops. You’ve got to make the not exactly convenient pilgrimage to Marfa to actually see the pieces in their natural habitat.
The affiliation between furniture-makers in Texas and gallerists in Chicago may seem random, but Matt and Mikelle Kruger have strong ties to Marfa. The couple has a home there and plans to open a gallery there later this year, and Matt is the founder/owner of the Big Bend Brewing Company in Alpine, situated about 26 miles east of Marfa. Big Bend Brewing beers will be served at the opening of the Garza Marfa show on Friday, which will feature all but two pieces from the current range, as well as several brand-new creations including a dining table, chaise and two side chairs upholstered in fabrics by Constance for Garza Marfa (as well as her blankets and hand-sewn pillows made from vintage Bolivian blankets). The show also sees the debut of original works of art — the two-dimensional kind — by Jamey, who has an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and was a painter before getting into furniture design. These are the first paintings he’s made in almost 15 years — what he calls “old-school graphic design exercises” of furniture renderings.
Garza Marfa runs through Aug. 29 at Kruger Gallery, 3709 North Southport (near Waveland), 312-995-0776, krugergallerychicago.com.