Artists paint vintage chairs as fundraiser

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Most paintings just hang on a wall, but an upcoming benefit auction will include artwork you can sit on.

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Millie Klosinski, development officer at Augusta Richmond County Public Library stands for a portrait with chairs that will be auctioned Monday afternoon in Augusta.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Millie Klosinski, development officer at Augusta Richmond County Public Library stands for a portrait with chairs that will be auctioned Monday afternoon in Augusta.

The idea was to recruit local and regional artists to paint vintage plastic chairs purchased in 1959-60 for the opening of the old Augusta-Richmond County Public Library.

“They are all really unique,” said Millie Klosinski, the library’s development officer. “We just asked the artists to come up with designs that are period with the chairs.”

The artists were given sets of two or four of the Eames Molded Plastic Chairs used in the Greene Street building’s auditorium for a half-century.

Sixty of the chairs were distributed to 24 artists, she said.

The completed chairs are now on display at the new library building.

“They were like blank canvases,” she said. “Everyone’s vision has been different.”

Participating artists were: Russ Bonin, Matthew Buzzell, Jason Craig, Ed Elser, Kathleen Girdler Engler, Lynn Forbes, Rob Forbes, Stephanie Forbes, Steven Harrison, Xavier Jones, Elizabeth Malpass, Rich Menger, Tom Nakashima, Tom Nielson, Steve Penley, Michelle Pieper, J. Quarles, Robin Raymond, Chris Rucker, Michael Siewert, Margaret Ann Smith, Constance Crenshaw, Studio 3 Design Group and Lucy Weigle.

The chairs will be auctioned during a benefit gala Oct. 20, Klosinski said.

Proceeds will be used to support the library’s programs and to buy books and equipment.

Comments (8) Add comment
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BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 09/27/11 - 02:05 am
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Mmmm kay

Mmmm kay

InChristLove
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InChristLove 09/27/11 - 08:51 am
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I think these chairs are

I think these chairs are unique but I'm wondering will they be auctioned off as individual or pairs, or will they all go as one lot? I can see these becoming popular in girls dorm rooms or maybe a child's bedroom.

wondersnevercease
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wondersnevercease 09/27/11 - 10:52 am
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I love this!!!......
Unpublished

I love this!!!......

Cassandra Harris
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Cassandra Harris 09/27/11 - 11:46 am
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Great fundraising and arts

Great fundraising and arts promoting idea! Could the reporter please provide more information as to how the public can view the chairs and participate in the auction?

I wonder why someone who constantly claims their dislike of the arts, the support of the arts and constantly refers to different pieces of art as ugly, unnecessary and other terms feels the need to comment on art threads. Boggles the mind.

BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 09/27/11 - 01:20 pm
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are these the chairs they

are these the chairs they claimed were worth thousands of dollars and tried to auction off before with no buyers? I think they are going to have to come back to planet earth with their price expectations on these chairs.

Dipshot
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Dipshot 09/27/11 - 03:15 pm
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I think these chairs look

I think these chairs look nice painted. But are they seriously trying to sell these in the thousands of dollars? That just seems way over the top. I wouldn't mind having a few myself, but not if they are charging that much for them.

Cassandra Harris
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Cassandra Harris 09/27/11 - 03:48 pm
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Where in the article did two

Where in the article did two posters read that the chairs were going for thousands of dollars? All it says is that the chairs will be auctioned off at a charity event. I am familiar with the work of some of the artists, who are quite gifted. If the chairs auction off for thousands of dollars, then that would be representative of both the support of the art community for the library system and the talent of the artists themselves.

Dipshot
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Dipshot 09/27/11 - 04:08 pm
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I believe these are the same

I believe these are the same chairs that the Library was trying to auction off before, and yes, they were expecting to get over a thousand for each one. Not surprisingly, they did not see one sell at their reserve price. I guess painting them is supposed to make them more marketable. I understand they are vintage chairs, but I don't think they can expect to get maybe more than a couple hundred dollars a piece for them at most. I remember sitting in these chairs from the old liberry.. not the most comfortable things but they do have that saarinen furturistic look to them, but they are also quite common finds at garage and rummage sales.

Cassandra Harris
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Cassandra Harris 09/27/11 - 04:23 pm
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dipshot - I don't recall the

dipshot - I don't recall the thousand dollars each price you claim the library was asking for in a previous auction and didn't get. Could you please provide citation? It would be helpful in my understanding of the negativity of a few posters on this site, thanks.

I did find two old AC articles, one which let antique enthusiasts know of certain period pieces and their book value if in good condition, and another telling of bidders picking up their pieces which were mostly desks in the $200's. No mention of any chairs asking for $1000. Even if they do go for that price, the money goes to support the library system, which aids in keeping it running even in the face of serious cutbacks. win-win

Dipshot
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Dipshot 09/27/11 - 04:34 pm
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Cassandra there were atleast

Cassandra there were atleast a couple of news articles in the Chronicle about it, and yes they were hoping to get over $1,000 a piece for these chairs. I see there were no takers. Maybe they should just lower the price.

waterburger
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waterburger 09/28/11 - 02:20 am
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Dipshot, I attended the

Dipshot, I attended the preview of last year's auction and poured over their online catalog of items up for auction. These Eames fiber glass chairs were not part of the auction and definitely were not going for $1,000.00 a piece. I do not know where you came up with that figure. The high ticket items that were in that price range at that time were some extremely rare (and rather large) desk sets by a number of well-known designers of the era. It is my understanding that the minimum opening bid price for the painted chairs in this upcoming auction will in the $200 range per pair. As stated by Cassandra, this is a fundraiser. The library is a beautiful public resource and is most deserving of support.

Mother Teresa
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Mother Teresa 10/11/11 - 09:36 am
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I would love to see a photo

I would love to see a photo of the Steve Penley chairs. I've seen his work at the World of Coke and also on Fox News. Love him! I'm sure this will be a phenomenally successful fundraiser for a great cause.

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