Some of the chairs from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Music Shed have become one-of-a-kind works of art this summer — and there’s still time to own one.
Fourteen local and regional artists have made artworks of the concert hall’s wooden chairs as part of an ongoing silent auction to raise funds for the restoration of the Music Shed, the festival’s renowned concert hall.
The auction began earlier this summer, and bidding will close on Saturday, Aug. 3, during intermission of the Emerson String Quartet concert. The artists who have transformed the chairs into works of art are Sally Briggs, Natalie Burke, Adela Hubers, Wayne Jenkins, Karen Linden, West Lowe, Samuel Messer, Ken Musselman, Ruthann Olsson, Robert Andrew Parker, Karen Rossi, Ronald J. Sloan, Joseph Stannard, and John Thew. Their designs range from whimsical paintings of Norfolk landscapes to a copper-and-leather wrapped chair. Winning bidders — who will be announced at the close of the Aug. 3 concert — take their chairs home.
The chairs are on display at the Music Shed until bidding closes. The auction is hosted by the festival and Norfolk Artists and Friends.
In addition, concert-goers also have the opportunity to name or dedicate one of the Music Shed chairs in perpetuity for a contribution of $250. These chairs will remain in the restored hall with a plaque identifying the donor(s) or the dedicatee(s) with a statement of up to 40 characters of the donor’s choice. This campaign will begin on Aug. 3.
The goal of the Chair Campaign is to raise $100,000 toward the Music Shed restoration, which will take place over several years. John G. Waite Associates, an architecture firm specializing in historic architecture preservation projects, is overseeing the work, which will take place during the fall and spring when the festival is not in session. The restoration is expected to cost approximately five million dollars.
Photographs of the chairs in the silent auction can be viewed on the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival website. Bidding can be done in person, online by e-mail, or by phone at 860-542-3000.