Once Upon a Chair : 10 Antique Chairs with a New Story to Tell

13 February – 10 April 2010

Art exhibit and silent auction to benefit
the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust

Place your bid to own one of these charming chairs from March 18–April 8.

There will be a reception with the artists on Thursday, April 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. where the winning bids and most popular chair will be announced.

 

Once upon a time, there were 10 children's chairs, from a story time long ago. They were kept in the attic until one day, 10 talented artists rescued them one by one...

(Click on each image to see a larger view)

image
Katharine Bell

Katharine Bell

"Around the time I was asked to paint a chair for the library I was working on portraits of our dog Bubbles. She had been ill and I was afraid we might loose her. I wanted to catch her likeness while I could. To have something to remind us of all the love and fun she has given us. And found the combination of a wordy chair and a decent likeness a pretty good mix. There are seven poems or fragments of poems about dogs, our love of and for dogs woven in the paint for my library chair."

 

image
Virginia Fitzgerald

Virginia Fitzgerald

"The frog has been one of my muses for decades. He has shown up on my hand~painted clothing, jewelry, murals and he made his debut on a seat of a chair that was exhibited and sold at the Gift Store of the Whitney Museum in New York City. When I heard about the chair project I knew that my frog would appear once more and this time as royalty. I love the story of the Frog Prince. I feel it is a commentary on the issue of 'judging a book by its cover' or judging someone by their appearance. This is an issue that I feel strongly about and that I deal with in my 'Dress Project' and in life. I am also intrigued by the role that the frog plays in fairy tales, something disgusting that turns into something handsome."

image
Susan Marion

Susan Marion

Susan Marion, owner of Murals & More, has been painting murals and faux finishes in private homes as well as commercial spaces for a little over ten years. In addition to her murals, she paints commissioned pieces on canvas and linen. Landscapes and flowers are among her favorite subjects to paint. She is inspired by the beauty found in nature and the freedom she feels in capturing a moment in time without the constraints of harsh lines and angles.

 

image
Erin Mullins

Erin Mullins

"For the Once Upon a Chair project I considered doing an I SPY chair or a chair based on the fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man.” In the end I decided to do both. The seat of the chair depicts the gingerbread man’s story. After being baked he is chased by an ever increasing line of people and animals: a little old woman, a little old man, a cow, a horse, and a farmer. He runs away from all of them but in the end he is outsmarted by a fox who eats him up. Around the seat of the chair are I Spy clues. I hope whoever receives the chair will enjoy the bright colors, story of the gingerbread man, and the I SPY game."

image
Martha Oldham

Martha Oldham

Martha Oldham has a masters degree in painting. She taught at the Danforth Museum school for fifteen years and currently paints and gardens in West Groton. The ocean shore has always supplied imagery for much of her paintings.

"I don't have a particular children's book in mind to go with my chair, just the idea of reading in general and all the fun of the ocean. When they were young, my children were always running up to me with bits and pieces of the beach, wanting to know the name of some strange object or tiny sea creature. I did my best but kept a shelf full of nature guides handy to check on the more obscure. And yes, your Cephalopod is a mollusk and they do garden but are not known to read. The other creatures and plants floating on my chair are all common to New England's tidal pools and beaches."

image
Jill Pottle

Jill Pottle

Jill Pottle is a professional artist/teacher from Worcester County. She is a graduate with her MFA from The Museum School in Boston. Her paintings of still life, landscapes are on display at the Powers Gallery in Acton, L'attitude Gallery, Boston, Hanback Gallery in NY state and in the Meghan Candler Gallery in Vero Beach, FL. Jill taught art for 22 years at the DeCordova Museum School.

This chair is based on an old childhood book, Jerry Muskrat at Home by Thornton W. Burgess. The glitter and color is all Jillʼs own.

image
Don Torgersen

Don Torgersen

Don Torgersen minored in art at the University of Arizona. He works in most mediums and tries to do a handful of pieces a year.

Says Don: "Everyone has something to say in art. Chair Name: America YES !?"

 

 

 

image
Janice Toth

Janice Toth

Toth's chair tells the story of the “Farmer and the Dell” and is inspired by her Dunstable home. As a member of the Dunstable Artisans, the Rocky Neck Art Colony, and the Copley Society of Boston, Toth’s artistic view of Dunstable is featured all around New England. Most recently, the Dunstable Rural Land Trust invited her to be an artist-in-residence, and her oil paintings of Dunstable are featured in the 2010 Land Trust calendar.

 

 

image
Sharon Wooding

Sharon Wooding

"My inspiration for the storybook chair comes from my book, THE PAINTER'S CAT which contains scenes showing Renaissance fabric on the pillow in the artist's studio. The design on the storybook chair is the same as the fabric on the case of the book. I added gold to the chair's spindles and some gold fringe to the seat to complete the idea."

 

 

 

 

Deborah Santoro
Curator