There’s some new art popping up around downtown, Muskoka-style.
The Downtown Huntsville BIA has given 30 Muskoka chairs to downtown businesses and challenged them to turn them into works of art.
“The BIA was looking for ways to bring more art to downtown,” said BIA manager, Morgan Richter. “What better way to represent Muskoka businesses than with Muskoka chairs?”
The chairs were purchased with the help of Rolston’s Home Hardware and Big Chair Company and Richter left it up to the shops to either connect with local artists or design the chair themselves.
The BIA’s goal is to eventually fill the downtown streets with chairs, not only for decor but to also provide extra seating outside shops. They intend to keep this initiative going year after year, and once a chair becomes weathered the business can contact the BIA for a new one.
Huntsville Festival of the Arts (HFA) board member Gord Duncan hand-painted the organization’s entire Muskoka chair. HFA executive director Dan Watson said that they wanted to convey the connection between nature and art. “We really appreciate this initiative by the BIA,” he said. “It’s so great to see the businesses getting creative.”
Catherine Cole, owner of The Great Vine, has been a huge supporter of Kerri-Lyn Freebird’s company, Burnt Timber Art, since its inception. The Great Vine was the first place that Freebird sold her artwork and Cole has commissioned pieces from her in the past. Cole knew that Freebird would be the perfect artist to complete her vision of vines wrapping around the Muskoka chair. The pair collaborated on the design and Freebird used her wood-burning skills to bring it to life.
A Soapstones staff member decided to take on the store’s Muskoka chair project. They painted it the company’s signature sea foam green and Wooden It Be Fancy by Nancy created a stencil to paint their tree logo across the seat of the chair.
Stacey Thornton, owner of ORBIS Barbershop and Salon, spray painted her chair black and then adorned it with a hand-painted moustache, straight-razor, and scissors. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thornton was nicknamed “The Pandemic Painter” after trying her hand at painting and posting her creations on social media where they were a hit. She was excited to have the chair as a fun project to represent her business. She currently has seven other commissions on the go.
Empire Ink Tattoo Co.’s Muskoka chair was created by co-owner Tiffany Macido. She painted it with the shop’s signature colours and Dallas Clarke from Hypervision created the vinyls to stick on the chair.
Keep your eyes peeled when you walk around downtown for the many more chairs still to come.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!