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Art you can sit in: A Chair to Remember

Posted by Evan Allen  July 12, 2012 04:01 PM

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chairs!.jpg
Photo taken by Steve Waller, Owner of Center Cafe
"Solar Flare" and "Moon Glow" - two hand-painted chairs at the Center Cafe. Artist: Lynda Davis Jeha

Seen any of these brightly painted Adirondack chairs around Needham recently?

They’re part of “A Chair to Remember,” a public art project spearheaded by the Needham Merchants Association and the Needham Restaurant Association in partnership with the Needham Business Association.

There are currently 46 of these hand-painted chairs through the town. Each was sponsored by a Needham business or community organization that provided a chair for a local artist to design.

Over the last six weeks, the chairs have been transformed into works of art, and they’ll be on display until September, when they’ll be auctioned off to help support scholarships at Needham High School and town beautification projects.

The chairs started going out before the 4th of July, but they’re still being finished and set up around town.

The original goal of the project was to have between 15 and 20 chairs painted, according to Nancy Wright, cofounder of the Needham Merchants Association and owner of Perennial Designs in Needham Center who has organized the project – but the project has exceeded her hopes.

Now, she said in an email, she is working on creating an interactive map which people will be able to download and print as a walking tour of the chairs, and a website.

The Needham Merchants Association has worked closely with the Needham Restaurant Association and the Needham Business Association to promote local shopping through “Discover Needham,” and, Wright said in an email, the Chair to Remember project helps remind residents and visitors alike of how unique Needham is.

This is the first annual Chair to Remember display, said Wright, but the reaction has been so positive that they’re thinking of putting together another one next year.

Each chair is a one-of-a-kind collectors item. The auction will be held on September 29.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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