Three chairs painted by Okanagan artists have been delivered to Enderby’s Courtyard Gallery as part of ArtWalk Chairs, a project created to fill the void of the cancelled Lake Country ArtWalk Festival 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Art chairs arrive in Okanagan communities

The fruits of a Lake Country ArtWalk project have turned up in a number of municipalities

People throughout the Okanagan are starting to find more vibrant places to recline.

With the popular Lake Country ArtWalk Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, organizers found a new way to fulfill the event’s mandate of supporting local artists and providing art experiences to the community this year.

The ArtWalk Chairs project commissioned 45 artists to paint basic wooden chairs in a style of their own choosing while incorporating a positive message somewhere in the design.

The chairs have begun cropping up in a number of municipalities. Three can be found at Lake Country City Hall, with another two located at the Lake Country Museum.

Other chairs have appeared at Vernon’s Community Services Building, the downtown park in Lumby, Enderby’s Courtyard Gallery, Penticton’s Leir House Cultural Centre, Bridge Park in Oliver and Osoyoos City Hall.

“We’re almost at the end, we’ve got a few more municipalities to deliver to, but so far it has just been wonderful,” said ArtWalk Chairperson Sharon McCoubrey.

It’s been a challenging summer for local artists, many of whom have had to cancel shows and lessons because of the pandemic.

But McCoubrey says the artists involved were grateful for the work, as well as the creative challenge.

“Knowing that artists were busy making art this summer, and knowing that these beautiful Art Chairs will be found within our Okanagan communities, marks the 2020 year for ArtWalk in a special way.”

Chair installations are also pending approval from municipal councils in Summerland, Peachland, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Armstrong and Salmon Arm. McCoubrey said she expects the locations of those chairs to be finalized at Sept. 14 council meetings.

The chairs come at no expense to municipalities, as ArtWalk is covering the costs with funding support from sponsorships and Heritage Canada.

Visit www.lakecountryartwalk.ca for more details and to view a gallery of all 45 chairs.

READ MORE: Safety protocols in place as private school in Summerland begins new year

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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