You don't see many wooden folding chairs any longer, they have long since been replaced by metal and plastic chairs at most meeting places.
The final resting place for the older chairs is usually the Borough landfill, or a homecoming bonfire. However, thanks to the creative thinking of Joy Falls, a staff member of the After The Bell program at Soldotna Middle School, and some 4-H volunteers, some of those old chairs have found new life and purpose. The idea was to have After the Bell participants find their favorite artwork from contemporary masters such as Picasso, Van Gough, O'Keefe, and Monet and copy the artist's work on to the recycled wooden folding chairs. "The kids positioned the piece on the chair the way they wanted it then copied it on the chair," explained Connie Tarbox, 4-H volunteer. Soldotna Middle School art teacher Andrea Eggleston coached the kids and directed the artwork.
According to Tarbox the project was not only a great art project for the students, but has now become a fund raising project for the After the Bell program, "Chairs are going to be placed at particular merchants in the area and people are invited to stop by and put in a silent bid on their favorite chair. The minimum starting bid will be $40 and people can keep stopping by March 22nd through April 2nd to be sure they are the high bidder. At 5:00pm on April 2nd the bids will close, and winning bidders will be notified. All the monies from the sale of the chairs will be donated to the After the Bell program," said Tarbox.
Two chairs will be placed at each location. Participating stores include Kaladi Brothers in Soldotna, Sweeney's, Coffee Roasters, River City Books, Charlottes in Soldotna, Coffee Concepts, Reindeer Pause, Artworks, and Nancy Mitchell State Farm Insurance office. For further information contact Nancy Veal at the Cooperative Extension Service, 262-5824.
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