NOWHERE TO SIT For chair-ity event, artists design by the seat of their pants


When 100 local artists get their hands on some old-fashioned folding models and turn them into objets d'art.

part of Maryland Art Place's Chair-ity Extravaganza tomorrow, painters, sculptors, architects and designers were given this design challenge: Take ordinary wooden chairs and make masterpieces.

The results are not to be taken sitting down.

Using their own supplies -- from rubber worms and rawhide to handcuffs and a waffle iron (for a piece aptly titled the Hot Seat) -- they have paid tribute to everyman's throne, creating works that are sculptural, whimsical, political and, in one case, plain obscene.

For artist Harry A. Evans Jr., who painted a Fells Point cityscape on his chair, working in this medium was a new experience. He said he had never "put anything" on a chair before, except, of course, his derriere.

The chairs will be sold for $100 each during the benefit, which begins at 7 p.m. (Tickets range from $50 to $125.) Other highlights include performances in the 14Karat Cabaret nightclub -- dubbed the Chaise Lounge for the evening. Mistress of ceremonies Laure Drogoul is expected to get things rolling by chain sawing (you guessed it) a chair.

In addition, there will be an auction of contemporary Maryland art furniture and an exhibition tracing the evolution of the chair in Maryland. Interior designer Mario Buatta -- the so-called Prince of Chintz -- is the honorary, ahem, chair.

The exhibits will be on display through Sept. 28.

4( For more information, call 962-8565.


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