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Chair is Art' back for April is Arts Month

SNP - Westerville News and Public Opinion
Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:07 AM EDT

You might want to sit down for this one: After a one-year hiatus, Chair is Art has returned to Gallery 202.

Renee Kropat, executive director of Gallery 202, said she discontinued the community art exhibit because interest seemed to be dwindling in 2006, the exhibit's sixth year.

"But after I didn't do it, people asked me about it," she said, laughing.

Chair is Art is again sponsored by Partners in Art Inc., a nonprofit art organization that specializes in community art programs for all ages.


As of Friday, March 28, Kropat said 11 chairs had already been delivered to the gallery -- located on the second floor of the Amish Originals building -- and she'd been told there were several more on the way.

"We'll probably have a couple dozen in all," she said. "Lots of times they just show up in the end, and we accept them. We don't turn any chair away."

The idea of the exhibit is transforming function into beauty.

"You take something like an everyday piece of furniture and turn it into something artistic," Kropat said.

The exhibition of art chairs, which opens today, April 2, coincides with the third annual April is Arts Month, a month-long celebration of the arts in Westerville.

Among this year's entries are again many from the Delaware Arts Academy, an alternative school for kids who are not reaching their potential in a traditional high school setting.

Pimp My Chair, takes its cues from the MTV television show Pimp My Ride, Kropat said. On the show, beat-up cars are redone inside and out with high-tech gear and other luxuries.

"It's a chair from an old car that he has 'pimped' up," Kropat said.

A collaged chair depicts Rafiki, the wise baboon character from Disney's movie, The Lion King.

Crystal Kalinke, who teaches art for a local co-operative of homeschool parents, led her class in creating a chair that depicts the theme "Light of the World."

"We wanted our piece to be a witness to what our group stands for -- showing God's love," Kalinke said.

The students, kindergartners through third-graders, painted the chair with bright colors and plastered a candle on the chair along with miniature Bible.

Kalinke appreciated the public nature of the exhibit.

"I just want my students now to get a taste of community art and be involved in a collaborative piece," she said.

The free exhibit runs this month at Gallery 202, 38 N. State St. The galley is open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Among the numerous other events scheduled in conjunction with April is Arts month is a writing contest sponsored by the News & Public Opinion and the Westerville Public Library. Winners will be announced at a special reception at the library April 20, and the winning entries will be published in the newspaper.

Seniors from each Westerville's three high schools who participate in dance, music or theater will be recognized in a display at the Community Center beginning April 5.

The Senior Art Exhibit at the Westerville Community Center begins Thursday, April 3 with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The artwork will remain on display until April 14.

Student art exhibits at the Westerville Public Library and the Westerville Community Center will showcase the artwork of Westerville elementary and secondary students, respectively. A public reception is scheduled for Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m. at the Westerville Public Library recognizing elementary students in the Art from the Heart exhibit.


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