“Chair Affair” returns to Art Center Ukiah – The Ukiah Daily Journal

The “Chair Affair”, a long-standing event for art lovers in Ukiah, is back! COVID has made it impossible to hold the event for the past two years, so there is more anticipation than usual for this normally biannual event.

After the long hiatus, more artists than usual join in the affair. There are 23 registered to decorate chairs, with the possibility that others make the decision to participate at the last minute. In the history of the event, according to one of the show’s organizers, Jill Schmuckley, nearly 200 art chairs were created and sold to local arts supporters.

Art chair by Dore Bailey

Jill explains: “Each artist chooses a chair that they like. It can be any type of chair… plain wood, upholstered, metal, child-sized, old or new. Jill continues: “A new aspect of this year’s Chair Affair is that this year we are repurposing donated wooden chairs in a classroom at River Oak Charter School. The chairs were going to be thrown away but now they will have a new life. A variety of artists have chosen these chairs, and we have a number of standard adult chairs that have all been donated by individuals. This is the first time that we have received so many donated chairs.

It is entirely up to each artist to determine how they wish to transform the chosen chair. Many use paint, some choose to sew throw pillows, and some add eclectic embellishments. Some are gorgeous, some are whimsical, and some leave viewers scratching their heads. “Our most unusual chair ever,” according to Jill, “was a chair made from an old sewing machine cabinet. Another was a succulent garden created by a local landscaper. She continues, “This year we can expect just about anything, including a few pieces created by kids…the imagination is what makes it so exciting every year.” The only requirement is that the chairs be usable once the performers have finished working their magic to transform them into objects of beauty.

“Another aspect of this unique show,” adds Jill, “is that there will be a special Viewers Choice award for the president who gets the most votes during the month. gallery and vote for their favorite chair, where people are encouraged to bid on a chair to take home at the end of the month.

The Pulpit Affair aims to provide enjoyment for artists and community members, in addition to raising funds for the Ukiah Art Center. Jill says, “This event is one of our most successful fundraisers. All chairs are generously donated to be auctioned off to the highest bidders after the month-long silent auction. One hundred percent of proceeds will go to Art Center Ukiah to support their monthly shows and programs, all of which are open to the public.

Painting by Jazzminh Moore
Painting by Jazzminh Moore

Throughout June, people are invited to enter the Corner Gallery, where the chairs will be displayed in both the front gallery space and the back room belonging to Art Center Ukiah. Each chair will be labeled with its title and manufacturer, and a submittal sheet will be attached. People are encouraged to visit the gallery regularly to check their bids, and only in-person bidding will be permitted…no phone bidding.

A tantalizing sample of the chairs will be on display at the Farmer’s Market on both Saturdays…June 11 and June 18.

Another aspect of this exhibition will be “the art of the chair” on the four walls of the Art Center Ukiah space. As is the case with most ACU shows, entries were open to the public, and absolutely anything involving a chair was encouraged. All wall art is for sale separately from the chair auction.

The first Friday opening for this show is June 3 from 5-8 p.m., with live music provided by Suni Smith on her harp. Art Center Ukiah is located in the back room of the Corner Gallery at 201 S. State St. in Ukiah. Normal hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Painting by Benjamin Mook
Painting by Benjamin Mook