NORMAN — The unexpected will be the center of attention at the Norman Art Council’s ONE fundraiser in March: chairs.
On March 31, a night to highlight Norman’s visual and performing arts, area artists’ work — in the form of chairs, stools and ottomans — will be auctioned off to support NAC’s operating and programs budget.
Erinn Gavaghan, NAC executive director, said chairs donated from local artists will be hung on the wall. The silent auction for each piece will begin at $50.
“I’m hoping to see a huge range,” she said about the styles of chairs submitted. “I’m really dreaming that someone is going to bring us, like, a big chaise lounge they’ve done something with — like put a horse head on it or something. I dream big, though.”
Michael Bendure, board member for Norman Arts Council, said the council asked artists to use chairs for the auction as both a way to provide the artists with a creative opportunity, as well as a way to showcase that the same medium or subject can still reflect the diversity of the community.
“To take an ordinary object that everyone uses and make it into art — I think it’s one more way to show the creativity behind the Norman Arts Council, and show how they take the simplest things in our community and make them have meaning, worthwhile and have cultural meaning for the community,” he said.
NAC is currently accepting submission forms for chairs from artists, prominent community members and groups, she said. Submission forms can be found online at www.normanarts.org.
The council hopes to have between 20 and 30 pieces to auction off, Gavaghan said.
Between the auction and ticket sales, Gavaghan said the council is hoping to raise approximately $20,000 from the event to go towards operational costs. Without the support from the community, the council would be unable to do even the most basic of things — like pay the electricity bill.
Coming to the fundraiser ensures that the council continues to operate and support local artists and art organizations, Gavaghan said. It’s also a chance to see the results of the support by seeing local works of art and learning more about local organizations.
Bendure said the council’s work is worth supporting and celebrating.
“I think that the arts are an important part of every community, and we are very fortunate to have a very active organization such as the Norman Arts Council that not only supports local art and artists but physically puts money in the hands of organizations that are providing arts education opportunities,” he said.
“I think that this is one of those rare chances that the community gets to say thank you and gets to see the fruits of their commitment to the Norman Arts Council.”
Besides the “Chair-ity Auction,” the night will include performances from Songwriters of Norman and live performance art from surprise artists, Gavaghan said.
Also, local art organizations will be featured, “You Are Norman Arts” video contest winner will be announced and the Fowler Arts Education Award will be presented.
“It’s going to be a very high-energy night,” she said. “There’s going to be a lot of people in our space and a lot of stuff going on.”
General admission tickets are $50 and include food and drink. VIP tickets will be sold for $75 and provide access to the event as well as a chef’s tasting on March 29 at the restaurant Local.
Support for the fundraiser has been provided by First American Bank, Republic National Distributing Company, SLICE magazine, Fowler VW, Miko Group, Amy Bladow Realtor at Century 21 Goodyear Green and the Oklahoma Gazette. Corporate sponsorships are still available for $500 and include four VIP tickets.