Michael Johnson/Livingston County News
Mary Lee Page poses with a chair that she created for the Rockin' the Arts benefit auction. The chair includes biblical verses. It may be viewed at Cafe Shiloh, 120 Main St., Geneseo.
Local artists ready to rock the arts
Aug. 15 event will benefit KidStart, Livingston Arts
Two dozen-or-more one-of-a-kind chairs created by local artists are going to be available for purchase during an Aug. 15 auction at Sweet Briar, 5126 Mount Morris Rd., Geneseo.
The $35 admission gala, billed as “Rockin’ the Arts,” will feature food, wine and live music. The event benefits Livingston Arts and KidStart.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with an auction preview, followed by hors d’oeuvres at 7. Bidding will commence at 8, and the auction will be followed by a performance by local favorites Flying Boxcar with special guest Joe Dady.
Proceeds from the gala and auction will be split equally between KidStart and Livingston Arts.
RELATED LINK: A gallery of the chairs to be auctioned at the “Rockin’ the Arts” gala on Aug. 15.
Advance ticket sales closed Friday, but Livingston Arts officials said there will be 20 tickets available at the door. Ticket sales are limited to 200 tickets.For information, call Livingston Arts at 243-6785 or KidStart at 658-4023.
More than 20 artists created the upcycled and handmade chairs that will be auctioned.
Among the unusual furniture in an eclectic collection looking for bids will be a “Queen of Hearts” chair featuring the image of the Queen herself appended to the top rail, a creation of Cheri Natoli and Ken Richardson.
Rebecca Crocker, the main organizer of the event, created a chair with a theme of autism awareness. James Link of Carvings by Link was inspired by the classic winged logo of rock band Aerosmith. And Greg Johnson of Johnson Family Restoration has completely gilded a child-size Windsor chair in 23.5-karat gold leaf.
Proceeds from the auction and ticket sales will be divided equally between KidStart and Livingston Arts. KidStart, a program of the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, offers special services, day care and Head Start programs to children both with and without disabilities in an integrated setting. Livingston Arts enriches life in Livingston County by encouraging and promoting arts and cultural activities.
Chairs are being displayed at locations throughout Geneseo, Mount Morris and Dansville.
In Geneseo, chairs can be seen at Touch of Grayce, Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, Genesee Valley Florist, Wadsworth Library and Café Shiloh.
The entire collection of chairs can be viewed at livingstonarts.com by clicking the Rockin the Arts rocking chair icon.
For more information, go to www.livingstonarts.org, www.lwarc.org, facebook.com/RockintheArts or call Livingston Arts at 243-6785.
A capsule look at selected artists:
Mary Lee Page
Mary Lee Page has created an intricately detailed chair that can be seen on display in the window of Cafe Shiloh at 120 Main St., Geneseo.
Mary says she felt divinely led during the creation process, in particular by the Biblical verses 2 and 3 in Psalms I, which are inscribed on the back of the chair headboard: “But His delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law He meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season.”
The chair is handmade, obtained at a barn sale in Conesus.
The seat now features Mary’s artwork: An overhead perspective of a bowl of apples of varieties Mary knew from the orchards of the Castile farm where she was raised. The arms take the form of flowing rivers and the spindles now support branches — all illustrating the Biblical passages. Two more Bible verses, both taken from Proverbs, and both relating to apples specifically, are inscribed underneath the seat.
Greg Johnson was drawn to the “Rockin’ the Arts” project because he said he likes “being challenged with a specific theme for an artistic concept.”
The chair also relates to his business: Johnson Furniture Restoration in Avon.
“I know this is a way of showing the public some of what I do and of course the fundraiser is for a very good cause,” Johnson said.
His chair, which he has dubbed “Little Gold Windsor,” fits the event by incorporating themes of art and childhood — with a playful twist on the latter.
“A child-size Windsor chair will be completely gilded with 23.5-karat gold leaf. The contradiction is a style of chair that has always been viewed as utilitarian — a seat for everybody, affordable to the masses — finished with the world’s most precious metal, usually reserved only for royalty,” he says, adding slyly, “Would you let your kid sit on it?”
Another distinctive contribution is an adjustable seat by James Link of Carvings by Link, that recalls the classic winged logo of the rock band Aerosmith.
The fine details of the feathers reveal themselves to be even more striking when you consider the Mount Morris artist’s medium — the piece was carved entirely by chainsaw.
Jeff Swift, a skilled metal craftsman and owner of Swift Custom Metal, sees “Rockin’ the Arts” as an appropriate venue to push the boundaries of his craft.
“For the auction, I wanted to build a prototype chair that was incredibly unique,” he says. “The chair and matching light pendant I am submitting is one that I’ve been meaning to build for many years. It is technically, from a metal working standpoint, a very difficult piece to make. But I see this event as a nice opportunity to finally produce it and give it a chance at a home where it will be possibly a modern heirloom for someone to love and for a community that I’m grateful to be tethered to by many posts.”
Others contributing one-of-a-kind chairs to the “Rockin’ the Arts” gala and auction include: Kathi Blaise, Patrice Case, Briana Coogan-Bassett, Derek Crocker, Rebecca Crocker, Roy Grisewood, Betsy Hoefen, Neena Johnson, Jim Jones, Lagom Landing, Kim Binaghi Lee, Mary Lee and Reggie Page, Maria Lombardo, Louise Michaud, James Myers, Cheri Natoli and Ken Richardson, Needles at Noon, Lauren Premo, Kala Stein, Sally Taylor, Julia Walker, and Matt Wurtenburg.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Rockin’ the Arts,” gala and auction to benefit KidStart and Livingston Arts.
WHERE: Sweet Briar, 5126 Mount Morris Rd., Geneseo.
WHEN: Aug. 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for an auction preview, followed by hors d’oeuvres at 7. Bidding befins at 8 p.m. The auction will be followed by a concert with Flying Boxcar and guest Joe Dady.
TICKETS: $35. Advance sale tickets have closed. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
INFORMATION: Go to www.livingstonarts.com, www.lwarc.org, or call Livingston Arts at 243-6785 or KidStart, 658-4023.