Painted chairs return to downtown Wauconda for Art on Main exhibition

Pedestrians strolling through downtown Wauconda shouldn't have any trouble finding a comfortable seat this month, thanks to the latest Art on Main exhibition.

Fifteen custom-painted, Adirondack-style beach chairs are on sidewalks for the eighth annual artistic promotion.

It's the latest public art exhibition in the suburbs. Similar displays - featuring painted horses, apples, dogs and other objects - have appeared in communities such as Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Naperville and Arlington Heights.

Wauconda's Art on Main is staged each summer by a community group called Main Street Attraction. Proceeds from an upcoming auction will fund local beautification projects.

Village Trustee Tim Howe called the project "a beautiful and whimsical way to raise money for the continued beautification of Main Street."

The first two Art on Main exhibitions featured painted chairs. Later incarnations had artists decorate benches, cornhole platforms, planters and ice chests.

Beach chairs returned this year to commemorate the Wauconda Park District's current renovation of Phil's Beach, said Maria Weisbruch, executive director of Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce. The legendary site will reopen to the public next year for the first time in three decades.

Some of the chairs have water- or beach-related designs, reflecting the importance of Phil's Beach and Bangs Lake to the town.

For example, one outside Whisk Bakery and Coffee Shop is called "Fun in the Sun" and features waves and the sun against an orange and red background. It's sponsored by the park district.

The chair at Threads Boutique is called "Bangs Lake to the Rescue" and prominently features a painting of a nautical throw ring. It also has three-dimensional, miniature boat paddles on its arms and a real boating cushion on the seat.

"We wanted to do a design that would be appealing to many people - so a Bangs Lake theme seemed appropriate," Threads owner Linda Starkey said.

But not all the chairs have aquatic themes.

The chair outside Green Goat depicts a daisy on a green background. It's appropriately called "Daisy Days."

Two chairs can be found at village hall. One, sponsored by the village, is called "Let Freedom Ring" and recreates the stars and stripes of the U.S. flag. The other, sponsored by two area soccer clubs, is called "What's Life Without Goals" and depicts people playing with soccer balls.

The beach chairs will be put up for public auction Sept. 5. The sale is set for 6 p.m. at the farmers market on Main Street.

Art on Main auctions have raised more than $30,000 through the years.

Art exhibition brings colorful benches to Wauconda

Painted planters decorating downtown Wauconda

Painted coolers adding color to downtown Wauconda

  "Linger in Bliss" is one the painted chairs on Main Street in Wauconda. It is in front of Bliss Wine & Gifts and the artist is JoAnn Freeman. John Starks/
  "Bangs Lake to the Rescue" is one of the painted chairs on Main Street in Wauconda. It is in front of Threads Boutique and the artist is Jess Lehmann. John Starks/
  "Dancing Lady" is one of the painted chairs on Main Street in Wauconda. It is in front of Wauconda Womens Club and the artist is Kathy Hedgspeth. John Starks/
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