All summer long, Sawyers have had the opportunity to enjoy one-of-a-kind hand-painted and embellished wooden garden chairs scattered around their village – chairs that were transformed by local artists for the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual public art event, “Sittin’ around Saugerties.” The chairs served a double function: as both decorative objects to appreciate for their intrinsic aesthetic qualities, and as an interactive experience for members of the community, who were welcome to sit in the unique chairs and make use of them. Local businesses and some individuals sponsored the artists, and the event was intended – as are all ventures of the Chamber of Commerce – to improve and promote local business.
The 35 chairs were designed in a wide variety of styles using a multitude of media. Some designs paid tribute to local events in Saugerties, like Sean Bowen’s chair, The Voice, sponsored by the Lazy Swan, paying homage to the vocal competition that it has been hosting the past few months. Another, Bruce Snyder’s Horsin’ Around, seems to be a nod to HITS, Inc., the organization headquartered in Saugerties that produces hunter/jumper horse shows there all summer.
Some designs reflect local landmarks, like Tara Richardson’s S. Adams Horse Stable, sponsored by Haller Financial, which makes its offices in the historic former stable, while others display the sensibilities of local business owners, like designer Bill Yosh’s chair Rock Star Rodeo, which is in the style of design that he offers in his shop of the same name on Partition Street. Other chairs simply reflect the personal style of the artist, like Ze’ev Willy Neumann’s Armed Chair, a fire-engine-red sculptural assemblage characteristic of the bold works that come out of his studio.
Now that the public installation of the chairs is over, they’ll be auctioned off to the highest bidders at “Musical Chairs,” a gala/auction this Saturday, September 15 at the historic Kiersted House in Saugerties. The evening kicks off at 5 p.m. with a wine reception under the tent on the lawn. Local restaurants will donate the food, and Mamalama will provide live music, its sound hinting at folk music and the medieval: a blending of ethereal vocals with harp, violin, cello, dulcimer, mandolin and flute.
The chairs to be auctioned off will be set up on the lawn, says Mark Smith of the Chamber of Commerce, offering the opportunity to preview them before the auction begins at 7 p.m., with professional auctioneer Barry Cherwin doing the honors. Absentee bids as well as call-ins will be accepted.
The price of the chairs will begin at $350, says Smith, with proceeds divided among the artists who created the chairs, the Chamber of Commerce to support next year’s art event and several local nonprofits, including the Saugerties Historical Society, Cahill PTA and funding for art and music in Saugerties schools.
Tickets to the wine reception and auction cost $25, available at the gate the night of the event, or in advance at Café Mezzaluna, Town & Country Liquors, Lucky Chocolates, Dry Goods and Rock Star Rodeo. A ticket to attend just the auction can be purchased the night of the event at the gate for $10. For more information, call Barbara Budik at (845) 246-0104 or visit www.welcometosaugerties.com.
The gala/auction “Musical Chairs” will take place on Saturday, September 15 at the Kiersted House, located at 119 Main Street in Saugerties. A wine reception starts at 5 p.m., with live music and food donated by local restaurants. The auction of “Sittin’ around Saugerties” artist-transformed wooden garden chairs starts at 7 p.m. Prices for chairs start at $350. Absentee bids and call-ins will be accepted. Tickets to attend the wine reception and auction cost $25 and are available at the gate the night of the event, or in advance at Café Mezzaluna, Town & Country Liquors, Lucky Chocolates, Dry Goods and Rock Star Rodeo. A ticket to attend just the auction is available at the gate for $10. For more information, call Barbara Budik at (845) 246-0104 or visit www.welcometosaugerties.com.