Chair City Art sweeps the area

PACE project seeks art entries
Jun. 23, 2013 @ 02:05 PM

PACE invities you to put the “chair” back in “Chair City.”

People Achieving Community Enhancement, a local organization of volunteers continues the city of Thomasville’s facelift with projects that seek to bring a fresh look to the downtown area.
Applications for a citywide chair design contest are now being accepted by Chair City Art, a committee of PACE.
"In 10 or 15 years, we hope to be known as Chair City again, this time because of the actual chairs and not because of the furniture industry," said Ben Watford, a member of the PACE board of directors.
Members of PACE seek community participation for an art contest that it hopes will draw tourists. Using any original medium — from pencil drawings, paintings, sculptures, metal to graphic designs —  artists may choose from designated themes for chairs or they may imagine their own. PACE will award $400 to the first place winner, $300 for second place and $200 for third.
"The purpose of the Theme Chair Design Contest is to get creative designs for chairs to populate the downtown area," said Nancy Higgins Horner, PACE treasurer and committee chairperson. "We hope to be receiving designs from all ages and skill levels. They don't have to be an artist to enter. We understand that the quality of the artwork may vary greatly, but we are looking for the creative idea. We can take that idea and have it transformed by an artist into a piece that can be proudly displayed by businesses in Thomasville."
Art will be judged on originality and creativity. Multiple pieces can be submitted, but prizes will be limited to one per artist.
Watford has been instrumental in this project, which was initially born of Horner's involvement with Uptown Thomasville and was rolled into a PACE project when she came aboard.
"This began as more of a creative project to get the kids thinking," Watford said. "We tried to make it interesting by creating a different twist, inviting parents and children of the community to produce art.  We'd like to see it evolve into the arches in our park and across a roadway or two, hoping to draw the arts to downtown Thomasville as a long term goal.
Horner, who has been working on the idea since 2010, said she  hopes to attract some of 51,000 vehicles which pass through Thomasville daily on Interstate 85. If the project proves successful, it will draw a large number of tourists into local businesses to spend money.
"Our hope in reaching out to others is that they help us spread the word, share this information with friends, family, friends and co-workers," said Horner. "This is open to all ages from anywhere. One thing we plan to do is create a mural that encompasses these designs in a very prominent location. We hope this encourages young and old alike to get beyond the Big Chair, to the side streets and other areas of downtown."
Entry deadline for the project is Sept. 4. Ultimately, the vision is for local businesses to bid on the design of chairs.
"This is all about trying to get more people to do more business in the downtown Thomasville area," Watford said. "We'd like to see every business have some type of artsy chair sitting outside."

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or