Wauconda storeowners use Adirondack chair art project as downtown fundraiser
The weekly trips down Main Street by Amy Bulmash and Sara Carlson to take their daughters to ballet class inspired them to create a fashion boutique in Wauconda.
Nine months later, while walking along Main Street to their shop, Aspire Boutique, 118 S. Main St., they were inspired again -- to create something that would make the street pop.
To add a splash of color to downtown Wauconda, 15 Adirondack chairs painted by local artists sit outside shops and businesses as a fundraiser for Main Street Attraction, a local group that helps raise funds to beautify Main Street.
Carlson said the chairs are a spoof of the painted cows in downtown Chicago.
"We just really love to celebrate the arts," she said. "Wauconda has Bangs Lake and when you think of the lake, you think of relaxing. We thought Adirondack chairs, lake, relaxing -- we got the idea and ran with it."
The chairs, which cost $250 each and are sponsored by 22 local businesses, will be auctioned off on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the farmers market in Wauconda.
One chair, designed by Andrea Perez, owner of DreamScapes Whimsical Boutique & Studio, 119 S. Main St., features handmade fiber paper, colored with maroon and gold cream that featured a design of flowers.
"It took a lot of thought and brainstorming," Perez said. "I really love the patterns and colors of Nepal and how they make designs, so I searched for the perfect pattern to make a peaceful, relaxing chair."
Other businesses were also able to express themselves through their chair's artwork. Some community favorites include a Blues Brothers chair featuring images of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, a bull dog chair with the face of a bull dog wearing a spiked collar, "the meat seat" chair with various meats and vegetables painted on it, and other landscape paintings.
Will Tremont, owner of Tremonte's Barber Shop, 113 S. Main St., said the dark brown mustache-covered chair outside his shop has generated a lot of chatter.
"I like the idea that they're semi-practical," he said. "I've had people come in the shop and ask me 'what's going on with the chairs'?"
Carlson said the chairs have been out for about a week and are already getting the attention she sought. Looking out her store's window, she said, she can see people walking by looking at the various chairs' patterns and designs.
"(People) love it, they love the vibe it gives," Carlson said. "It gives Main Street the creativeness, gives it a buzz."