Before I left PA in October, the Community Warehouse, located at 3969 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd here in Portland, emailed to ask if I would participate in their 2013 fund-raiser. This fundraiser auctions off reconditioned furniture, fixed and re-visioned by artists. I agreed to pitch in, knowing something of their work.
The Community Warehouse provides basic furnishings — beds, bedding, tables, chairs, china, etc — for people transitioning into housing who can’t afford to set up housekeeping on their own. The pieces worked up for auctioning, however, are not for the recipients of basic items; they are for those who like to help members of their community and to get something tangible in return — a little like Public Broadcasting’s mugs, only more fun for the artist (and more good for the Warehouse, which needs the cash for its operations).
Originally the auction was called “The Chair Affair” because it was limited to artists’ reworking old chairs. However, the Warehouse has expanded its title to “The Table and Chair Affair” and provided different kinds of banged-up furnishings for artists to rework. Here’s a link to see what last year’s artists produced. And below is a photo of the piece of furniture I chose to work with.
Shortly after I had attended the Warehouse soiree where we were fed and feted and got to choose our ruined furniture, I was beset by my old vertigo problem. This meant (and means) that I have to pace myself. The sanding went slowly; the priming even more slowly. But at last I was ready to spray on the background paint, on which I could then paint decorative imagery.
That process was not without its dangers. As I seldom use spray paint, I chose by color alone, and of course found the characteristics of the paints I chose were, ahem, interesting. But all difficulties were ultimately surmounted and I am now curing the last coat of the background paint while I design images for it on the computer.
Although something of a minimalist in my own home furnishings, I was taken by the shape of these table legs. I am definitely going to use imagery that catches the curves and interesting swell of those legs to the table top.
The computer turns out to be an invaluable asset; I can try all sorts of bits and pieces of things on the virtual table and delete them without further ado.
The Community Warehouse, by the way, has two commercial outlets, open regularly to the public, attached to the warehouse; you can buy wineglasses, for example, and books at their space called “The Garage Sale”; in the “Estate Store,” you can buy artistic furnishings and other stuff that didn’t sell at auction. I liked what I saw of these outlets, and as soon as the vertigo lets up, I plan a special trip to NE Portland. I need some small wineglasses, and I want to check out the art pieces. My studio really could use an arty soft chair. June