OH! OCTOBER! A chair-ity auction gets a sitting ovation!
TUCK STUDIO, along with 150 community supporters attended on Friday night, October 2nd, an inaugural fundraiser. This unique event enlisted the talent and support of 17 important visual artists who each created a piece of artwork on, or using, a white Umbra ‘OH Chair.’ Designed by Canadian Karim Rashid, the ‘OH Chair’ has become an icon of contemporary design.
Friday night was exciting for art & design lovers alike, all 17 pieces were auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation 2015 Give Campaign. The evening raised $15,373.00!
“Having celebrated our three-year anniversary here at Tuck Studio, we decided that, because so many people in the community have supported us, a fundraiser incorporating art and design — two very important components of what we’re about – was the best way to give back to community,” says Judith Mackin, owner of Tuck Studio and the creator of this inaugural fundraiser. “We hope that this year will be the first of many to come and that it will grow in size and scope.”
The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation’s (SJRHF) “The Give 2015” campaign is built upon five main pillars: capital equipment, mental health, research, education, and patient comfort. If you would like to learn more about The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation and their fundraising efforts and goals, please visit sjrhf.ca.
The fundraiser consisted of a reception and a live auction that was held at Shadow Lawn Inn in Rothesay, New Brunswick on the evening of October 2nd, 2015. Sales were limited to 150 tickets.
With comedian James Mullinger as master of ceremonies, Liz Isaac as our auctioneer, and the team members of the foundation at the helm, an entertaining, well-attended and worthwhile event took place!
The event had an obvious appeal to an audience interested in, and with a history of supporting, fine art. A long-time supporter of the arts herself, Mackin was determined to ensure that artists also receive a share of the sales (30% of each sales went back to the artist). To ensure that the chairs began at an appropriate level of bidding, there was an opportunity for those interested (first come first served) to underwrite a specific chair for $200. All chairs went well over each miminum bid.
There was sneak peek viewing of the completed works of chairs online on TUCK Studio’s website as well as their facebook event page prior to the live auction. However, you had to be present to bid on the work. Today we are revealing photos of the individual chairs created by the region’s best artists in their entirety.
In addition to the 17 artist chairs, there were some surprise Live Auction items including dinners for six with celebrity chefs Markian Shafransky and Michelle Hooton brining in bids as high as $1500!
Below are detailed shots of each chair. And, at the end of this point you’ll see a full photo album by Kâté Braydon capturing the evening at its finest!
We can’t thank everyone enough. We look forward to growing this event next year and hope to see you there!
ARTIST: AMY ASH
TITLE: Just awhile: so hard to leave//so hard to stay
(the Dear Saint John: I love you more with every remembering chair)
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: I Love You More with Every Remembering is part of an ongoing project that encourages us to revisit impactful places we’ve occupied, calling for reconciliation and celebration by love letters penned in their honour. The first installation of this project happened during Third Shift, Art Works after Dark, in Saint John, where strangers and friends sat and wrote letters to the various places that continue to occupy them. The writing on the chair is taken from various letters submitted for the project.
ARTIST: DARREN EMENAU
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The ceramic work of Darren Emenau was launched in 1997 as MNO Pottery. These characters played out countless scenarios and gave the viewer a glimpse into their fanciful lives. Eighteen years later, a percentage of Emenau’s work is still made in this style, now referred to as The Whimsical Line. The birds and cat motif on the Umbra Oh chair invites the user to view all sides of the chair as the image flows around it.
ARTIST: MANAMI FUKUDA
TITLE: Stay with me
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Fortunately our NB environment is surrounded by nature. We can admire the beautiful colors and shapes of the landscape every day. When I saw this curvy plastic chair, I thought, “Why can’t I bring the beauty of those natural forms into the living space, enjoying the sight and use of it at the same time?” Hopefully this chair will brighten your room!
ARTIST: ELIZABETH GRANT
TITLE: oh! Rest in the Forest Chair
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The OH Chair famously has no straight lines on its seat, and in its curves and holes it suggests an organic form. What confounded me for a long time, however, was the fact that, while the form is organic, the material the chair is made of is synthetic. In this way the chair is almost the opposite of the geometric forms and porous surfaces of the traditional wooden stretcher and cotton canvas I usually work on as a painter.
I spent a long time wondering how to approach this project, and what I could use on it that would adhere to the chair and maintain its own material integrity without entirely overpowering and ignoring the OH Chair’s own character (responding rather than shouting). Understanding that the chair’s condition as a synthetic object was, for me, the crux of the problem helped me to arrive at my response: I wanted to return it to nature, create a skin for it, dress it up like a tree for Halloween! But as with any costume, it would be worn on the chair’s terms: it must be sleek and clean, and a little abstract.
ARTIST: LISE HANSEN
TITLE: The Fjær Chair
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Fjær Chair or Feather Chair complements the Oh! Chair’s signature aesthetic of lightness and fluidity, softness and translucence. The illustrations of feathers are delicately applied to appear as if being blown from the chair by a gentle breeze.
ARTIST: SUZANNE HILL
TITLE: lamb in wolf’s clothing
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: I’ve retained the integrity of the chair, left it unblemished, as it were. I think it is just fine the way it is. However, I have created a removable shell that fits over the surface that’s made of glued fabric, plaster and assorted add-ons. It is underpainted with silver and overpainted with black; it is completely opposite to the clean white smooth plastic OH.
ARTIST: THADDEUS HOLOWNIA
TITLE: Avanti meets Oh
Pigment print from 10”x12” film negative. Edition 1/4
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Through his art, Holownia explores intersections of nature and humanity that form a particular presence in his life. Rarely seen without his two dogs Avanti and Lucky, it seemed appropriate to involve a dog in the chair project.
ARTIST: GORDON JENNINGS
TITLE: October Skies
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: When I heard the theme, Oh! October! I immediately thought of that time of year and how the weather is changing; it gets cooler and the clouds start to exhibit that grayness that ushers in falling leaves and falling snow. I wanted to simplify the chair so I decided to focus on the sky only.
ARTIST: MATHIEU LEGER
TITLE: The Fragility of Resting Bodies
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This piece is about sculpture in its most essential parts and processes. Addition and subtraction are important parts of the sculptural language. Drawing on the structure and porosity of bone, this piece means to convey both strength and fragility. Secondly, design renders objects into well-sculpted pieces that communicate ideas along with a purified form. To what degree can one eliminate material until that most crucial moment? Art is not about beginning something, it is about knowing when that last stroke is enough.
As with any communicative relationship, two parts are needed. In this case, chair and body. Sometimes relationships grow into precarious situations and become fragile, as with an aging body. This chair is meant to inhabit that space, both resting and fragile, but with a structure that represents strength. A decision to sit could collapse and transform the relationship, physically and metaphorically.
ARTIST: EMILY LEMESURIER
TITLE: a place of one’s own
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: For this project I wanted to juxtapose the modern design of the OH Chair with the vintage antique style and design of an everyday cane chair. I am interested in the contrast of these two different styles of design. There is a clash of urban and rural life, a clash which I feel in my own life: living in the city but lusting for the New Brunswick countryside. The imagery used is significant as it represents a place that feels like home.
ARTIST | ARCHITECT: JOHN LEROUX
TITLE: Oh Chair
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: I wanted to honour Karim Rashid’s beautiful and elegant form by not “covering” the plastic of the seat, but by working with the curves. I wanted something subtle at first, something that really grabbed you at certain moments. For example, when the sun shines from behind the chair and the dark spots begin to glow a gorgeous luminous red, like inlaid jewels. The lines consistently share a point where they intersect, tying them together as a family. At first, all the dotted lines appear similar, until that moment when the direct light comes into play and the open holes act as a strong counterpoint to the red lines, making them even more special.
I also wanted a chair design intervention that could be placed outdoors and be very resilient. I think the world of this chair, designed in Canada by a Canadian, and so having another Canadian revisit it, made me want to keep it all white with a hint of red.
ARTIST: CHRIS LLOYD
TITLE: Oh Chair Maquette for Déjeuner sur l’herbe, Britt’s version
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: My Oh Chair is a collage made from the drawings and source images I used in making the large-scale pastel drawing Déjeuner sur le vert – Picnic on the Course for the new Britts restaurant in the Rockwood Park Golf Course. I used Édouard Manet’s central composition of his 1863 painting Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe to arrange characters having a picnic on the Rockwood Park Golf Course. Based on contemporary political figures, the picnickers recall the style Saint John artist Miller Brittain (1912-1968).
ARTIST: DEANNA MUSGRAVE
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The process of this Oh chair was to first sand, paint and then finish it off with several layers water based polyurethane so, that people could sit on the final product if they so desired. The painted design on the chair is a compilation of multiple references from classical or popular culture. This work exemplifies Musgrave’s tendency to paint “confluent organisms,” cloud-like forms weaving in and out of multiple references in art history including Romantic landscape, Dutch still life, graffiti, visual music, abstract expressionism or op art.
ARTIST: CHRISTIANA MYERS
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: To me there is an undeniable 1960s feel to the OH Chair with its curved edges and bubble-esque silhouette. I knew that I wanted to do something that would add to its stylish retro character but wasn’t sure what until I found myself flipping through a 1960s geology textbook. I was captivated by how beautifully systematic the diagrams where; how different colours and patterns were used to indicate the various rocks in formations.
I was drawn to the fact that a science, virtually unseen, could have such a strong aesthetic impact that seemed perfectly intertwined with the artwork of the era. The diagram that this chair is based on is one that shows an intruding dome of rock salt next to which pockets of oil shale have formed. The blue section is salt and the grey is oil.
ARTIST: PAMELA MARIE PIERCE
TITLE: The Letter
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Upon first sight of the Oh! Chair, which is clean, and smooth, and deliciously curvy, I knew that I wanted to mirror its clean look with a minimalist approach, while honouring its warmth and character.
The fox is just gravy.
ARTIST | DESIGNER: PAUL ROWAN (Founder of UMBRA)
TITLE: OH Rocker
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The OH Chair design was originally commissioned by Umbra in 1998 to Karim Rashid. My re-invention was a collaboration with Davin Cowper, industrial designer at Umbra, and the master wood craftsman Tim Richards of South Street Boat Builders of Toronto (Southstreetboatbuilders.ca). The rocker combined with the OH Chair demonstrates the versatility of the original design and the mass manufactured elements and the hand bend ash wood rockers create a unique and interesting counter point. My vision of relaxation: reclining in my OH rocker and admiring the beauty of the Maritimes.
ARTIST: PHILIP SAVAGE
TITLE: Oh Chair with Maple
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The seat of the Oh Chair an excellent sculptural form and so I felt that if I where to apply my medium (wood) to it there could be an interruption in its flow. Instead, I rebuilt the legs in Maple as a complementary sculpture. I attempted to mimic the upper form (seat) with organic curves and bold negative spaces. I felt also that the cool white of the seat would contrast nicely with the warmth of the wooden legs.