Lincoln Arts Chair’ity Affair coming together

By: Leona Reber Special to The News Messenger
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The Lincoln Arts dual auction – a silent auction of various media artworks that have been donated by local artists and a live auction of 50 painted antique chairs – is coming down to the wire. The gala event is scheduled to be held at the McBean Park Pavilion from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 24. The evening includes live music by one of the area’s most versatile bands, Kirby Deshay and Cold Sweat. This is an “old-school” band that rocks out with classic rock, Motown soul and toe-tapping blues. There will be a no-host bar with premium wine and beer and an assortment of hors d’oeuvres to round out the event. The antique chairs were donated by Joanne Neft of Persimmon Café and have been painted and embellished in a dizzying array of styles. Some of the artists haven’t been satisfied with simply painting the chairs, but have added additional parts as well. “We have been so pleased with the diversity and flair used by the artists who donated their talent, time and materials to make this event a success,” said Lincoln Arts Executive Director Claudia Renati. “More than 120 artists have given us their work. Though they all started with exactly the same chair, each one has now become a unique work of art. In these difficult financial times, we realize that there are a lot of fundraisers for the public to choose from, but we are certain that this very unique event will be well-attended. Not only will it be an evening of fun, but also a chance to begin or add to your art collection at a bargain price.” One of the many artists who painted a chair is Rhonda Campbell. She started her journey in art many years ago, studying in Europe, as a painter, then an etcher and then finally moved on to photography. The prolific artist says: “Whatever the media, in 2D, I have probably tried it at least once.” Her passion now is to combine old traditional tools with new electronic media. She has been using electronic brushes for more than 15 years. Campbell has taught art and digital software and won numerous awards. Her work has been shown in galleries, museums and is in many private collections, as well as being published in books and magazines. Two of her photographs were chosen to be on permanent exhibit in the new Lincoln Library. Artist Paulette Janca has donated three chairs – each very different. Janca is known for her recycled creations, in which she uses nearly everything that others might throw in the dumpster to make fabulous artwork. “I’ve always been creative,” she said. “From the time I was 5 years old, I was expressing myself in music, dance and artwork and have done so all of my life.” Janca has taken classes in many media and taught as well, using a wide variety of media. Her art had to take a backseat while she raised her family, but now she says she is dedicating the rest of her life to teaching and creating. “I am committed to being a fulltime artist for the rest of my days,” she said. “I believe we are always learning and teaching – it never ends.” Janca’s chairs all began with a black acrylic background. She took off from there and created three entirely different works of art. “Mardi Gras Fantasy” has bright splashes of neon colors – a festive and fun piece that calls to mind the bright beads that are thrown from Mardi Gras floats. “It would be fun anywhere – for a child or teen’s room,” she said. “The colors would glow under black light – sort of like the posters from the Sixties.” Her second chair, “Have one on me,” employs a palette of fall colors with decoupage grape vines and leaves twining around the legs, seat and back of the chair. “It is for the wine lover or someone who just enjoys fall color,” Janca said. “It is quite a detailed piece.” The third has a Southwest feeling – with hand painted cowhide leather on the seat and back and Navaho designs, which she changed to make them her own, painted down the legs. It is finished with silver conchos and feathers. “It would be great for anyone who loves the Western or Southwest style of artwork,” she said. Chairs can be previewed at several locations: at the gallery, at City Hall, at Persimmon cafe and at the Arts Building in Auburn. Tickets for the Chair’ity Art Auction can be purchased at the Lincoln Art gallery at 580 Sixth St. They are $25 each or two for $40. Lincoln Arts members will receive a 20 percent discount. They are also available at the door. For more information about this or any other Lincoln Arts event, call 645-9713.