BRATTLEBORO -- Want to stand up and be counted as a supporter of Brattleboro Area Hospice? Then, take a chair. Or two, if you want.
Brattleboro Area Hospice is sponsoring the Chair-ished Goods Auction on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the VFW on Black Mountain Road.
Featuring an exciting and eclectic assortment of items for live and silent auctions, as well as hors d’ouevres, cocktails and fellowship, the event also features a special, chair-related artistic project.
On Nov. 3, people can bid on chairs specially selected and refurbished, designed and recreated by several local artists, including Kris McDermet and her sister Lynn Hoeft, Jackie Abrams, Cindi Hutcheson, Dianne Shapiro, Petria Mitchell and an artist new to the area, Marci Selig Smoger.
The idea was suggested by a Hospice volunteer who saw it done in another community and thought it would be great for Brattleboro.
"We have a very rich, giving artist community in Brattleboro," said Ann Fielder, board member and "chair," if you will, of the benefit auction
"We thought this would be a fun thing to do. There are so many artists in the community," said Susan Parris, executive director of Brattleboro Area Hospice. "A chair is a utilitarian thing, and it’s an art object. It’s useful and it’s beautiful."
It’s especially beautiful once a local artist has gotten her hands on one.
For the event, the local artists were
"We want to get our message out that we are a resource in the community that’s been here for a long time," said Fielder. "I think it’s important for the community to know what we do ... because people shouldn’t have to go through it alone."
The artist-designed chairs should help. The project and the cause seemed to have been good inspiration for the artists who went in wonderfully different and creative directions with their chairs.
Lynn Hoeft teamed up with her sister Kris McDermet, a longtime hospice supporter, to transform an old careworn stool into a beautiful luna moth.
Lynn and Kris are close and get together often over coffee to talk about life and art and stuff. Still, working together on the chair was the first time they’d collaborated in that way. Kris, a fiber artist did the cushion; Lynn, a painter, embellished the chair; they worked together on the luna moth.
"This was a natural outgrowth of that thing we do all the time. It was not a chore at all. A lot of it had to do with working with Kris," said Hoeft. "We knew we wanted to make something visually outstanding. ... I know I went outside of my comfort zone of doing watercolor on paper."
The result is one satisfying experience.
"How could you not feel good about doing something for an organization like Hospice, which does so much good?" Hoeft said.
The artist chairs are not the only interesting items up for bid at the Nov. 3 auction. Drawing from the eclectic resources of the thrift shop, as well as donations, the auction also features high-quality, antique and good condition furniture, jewelry, paintings, china, glassware and decorative items.
Local artists who have donated work include Mary Azarian, Roger Sandes, Ken Pick, Rich Gillis, Nancy DiMauro, Richard Foye and Leonard Ragouzeos. Other intriguing items include a photo safari in Africa and a bow and arrow set with carved hardwood tips collected in New Guinea in 1972.
The Nov. 3 Chair-ished Goods Benefit Auction starts at 4 p.m., with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a preview of items featured in the live auction, which starts at 5 p.m. Kit Martin is the auctioneer. Throughout the evening, guests are encouraged to bid on the items in the silent auction.
For a list of auction items and other details , including images of the artist chairs, visit www.brattleborohospice.org.
All proceeds support the hospice care and bereavement services that are provided free in the community by Brattleboro Area Hospice. Tickets to the event are $25, and available by calling 802-257-0775.