Bull Mountain Arts (BMA) is looking for local artists to help with the Pull Up a Chair Rocker Project, which intends to add designed, one-of-a-kind rocking chairs throughout the community.
Lora Mahaffey, president of the organization, said the idea came about during a brainstorming session with Rebecca Adcock, executive director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce.
“She said, ‘you know, I have this idea. One of our things is ‘Pull up a chair and enjoy the simple life here in Patrick County. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had some rockers.’ I loved that idea so much, and that the Bull Mountain Arts should sponsor this,” she said.
After securing funding from the Patrick County Tourism Department, Mahaffey said she acquired 15 rocking chairs, including some for children.
“We’ve been going along and getting gently used rockers, but we also have a couple of new ones too, people have donated some chairs, and we’ve just gone to second-hand shops and gotten some. I ordered a couple of them because they were in our budget and the prices were good, so we have a couple of new ones. So, it’s sort of a mishmash of stuff,” she said.
Currently, BMA is asking artists to submit sketched design proposals, Mahaffey said.
“I wanted to leave a theme open so that the artist had the chance to express themselves individually with some rules. So, nothing controversial, nothing naughty, just a good design,” she said, adding that so far, three completed designs have been received.
Artists whose designs are chosen must finish the rocking chairs and deliver them to BMA by Monday, October 10. “So, they’ve got well over a month to do the rocker and let the paint cure out and varnish it and stuff,” she said.
The designs can include 3D embellishments if the add-ons are permanently attached, and the chair is practical and comfortable to sit in. Proposals are due by August 22.
Artists must use high quality artist grade acrylic paints, and a good water-based polyurethane varnish for their works. BMA will supply artists with a $100 stipend toward any supplies needed. A balance of $300 to be paid upon delivery of the finished chair.
Mahaffey said the chairs will be placed in areas like the Patrick County Tourism Center, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Blue Ridge Regional Library Stuart site.
“They’re going to be in public places where either they can sit outside in the daytime and come in at night, or be inside in a public place where there’s enough traffic for people to be attracted to it, or have a reason to want to sit in it,” she said.
Mahaffey said the plan is to include different communities in the project.
Those interested in designing and painting a rocking chair should send a sketch of the design proposal and a paragraph describing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. BMA requires artists to send a picture of three examples of works completed within the last three years.