Pull Up a Chair P1010082
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Chairs, turned into art, are stars of the show at fundraiser

Following a unique fundraiser last weekend, nearly 30 art-lovers went home with treasures specially created for the event. And they may even be able to sit on them. “Pull Up a Chair,” sponsored by the Flossmoor Public Art Commission, was deemed a major success that attracted 129 attendees and raised more than $8,500 for the village’s outdoor sculpture program.

(Provided photos)

Following a unique fundraiser last weekend, nearly 30 art-lovers went home with treasures specially created for the event.

And they may even be able to sit on them.

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“Pull Up a Chair,” sponsored by the Flossmoor Public Art Commission, was deemed a major success that attracted 129 attendees and raised more than $8,500 for the village’s outdoor sculpture program.

But the highlight of the event was a collection of repurposed chairs that were turned into four-legged works of art. Twenty-seven chairs, created for the event and donated by area artists, were sold at the fundraiser.

Richard Bumstead, who chairs the commission, said the event was a success and also a lot of fun.

“The chairs were really the most fun and the stars of the evening,” Bumstead said. “The creativity and craftsmanship were superb. The depth of talent we have in the Southland is truly impressive. The designs ranged from beautifully painted chairs to objects that started life as a chair and ended as art.

“Simply amazing, and I am so glad that every one found a home.”

The fundraiser took place Oct. 8 at Wiley’s Grill in Flossmoor.

Bumstead said it was rewarding to have worked with the commission and village staff to put together the fundraiser. Planning for “Pull Up a Chair” took more than a year, according to Bumstead.

The theme of the event was based on a well-known sculpture located in Flossmoor’s Leavitt Park, “Minions,” by artist Scott McMillin. The installation shows a number of chairs, one very tall and smaller versions surrounding it on the ground. Bumstead said it is a symbol of the community, and represents a group coming together to create something greater than individual parts.

Laura Brennan-Levy, Flossmoor’s event and program coordinator, said Charlene Gordon’s chair, “A Woman’s Place,” received the highest bid of the night. Gordon, a painter and sculptor, is a member of the Public Art Commission.

Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun purchased “Flossmoor Comfort” created by artist Karen Dal Santo, who lives in the village. The chair is currently located in the village hall boardroom, Brennan-Levy said.

Artwork by Governors State University students was also for sale at the event.

The seven-member Public Art Commission oversees Flossmoor’s Sculpture Garden, a collection of pieces that are either owned by the community or leased from artists. The village currently owns eight sculptures and leases two.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to maintain current art and acquire new sculptures through leasing programs. The commission receives no tax dollars and is responsible for raising money for the public art program.

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