North Bend residents can prepare to see bright, colorful and beautiful Adirondack chairs throughout town this May.
Encompass, a nonprofit that provides families with early learning, pediatric therapy and family enrichment, has partnered with seven local artists for its third annual Take a Seat for Kids Project.
Beginning May 11, seven pairs of chairs will be on display at local businesses in the Snoqualmie Valley, including Birches Habitat, Carnation Café, Duvall Visitor Center, Heirloom Cookshop, Rio Bravo, Safeway on the Ridge and Salish Lodge & Spa.
All the chairs are for sale through May 31 via online bidding as a fundraiser for Encompass programs.
The Take a Seat for Kids Project is a “different way to raise money and awareness for Encompass,” Encompass marketing director Colleen Lenahan said.
“It’s also a really fun way to involve the community,” she said.
Artists Ricardo Espinoza, Mary Grigg-Colter, Carly Koczarski, Lady Kagura, Maddy Mangra, Rileigh Shelton and Candice Slabbert each donated their time and materials to transforming plain Adirondack chairs, donated by Ace Hardware of North Bend, into functional pieces of art.
The chairs have been assembled and weatherproofed by the artists.
Now in its third year, Lenahan said they’ve ironed out a lot of the logistics of the project and it’s been great to see the community start to recognize the project.
“It’s been pretty well received,” she said. “It’s been fun to see the whole community get involved, not just the artists and the local businesses.”
This year’s participating artists and businesses are:
- “A Radiant Night” by Ricardo Espinoza, on display at Birches Habitat
- “Happy Little Northern Lights” by Mary Grigg-Colter, on display at Duvall Visitor Center
- “The Bee’s Knees” by Carly Koczarski, on display at Safeway on the Ridge
- “Wabi-Sabi: Realized!” by Lady Kagura, on display at Carnation Cafe
- “Higher Ground” by Maddy Mangra, on display at Rio Bravo
- “Northwest Native” by Rileigh Shelton, on display at Salish Lodge & Spa
- “Zenspiration” by Candice Slabbert, on display at Heirloom Cookshop
According to Lenahan, the call for artists is spread mostly through word of mouth. For Rileigh Shelton, a senior at Mount Si High School, this was her first year participating in the Take a Seat for Kids Project.
“I’ve been an artist my whole life,” she said. “I was really happy to take on this project. It was intense but super fun.”
Her design is an elk and a bear.
“I was thinking about the project and how it serves the people here in the Valley,” she said. “I wanted to focus on the beautiful nature we have here in North Bend.”
Carly Koczarski, another Take a Seat for Kids Project artist, said this was also her first year participating in the project. Her chairs are adorned with bees and flowers designs. Koczarski said she’s always been drawn to simple line illustrations and has always been entranced by bees and flowers.
Though she doesn’t have much background in painting, she said she enjoyed the challenge of painting the Adirondack chairs.
“I now have a huge appreciation for people who paint,” she said. “I’m always up for a new challenge—it’s great to know you can do something even if it’s not in your wheelhouse.”
For many of the artists, it was rewarding to be a part of the project.
“It’s been great to see the finished product and know that it’ll go to help out a worthy cause,” Shelton said.
Koczarski shared a similar sentiment. “It was great to have a chance to make something to help out Encompass,” she said.
The online bidding for the chairs opened May 11 and will go until May 31. The bidding starts at $250. Last year, one set sold for $500.
More than anything, Lenahan hopes the community enjoys seeing the chairs.
“Go out and see them,” she said. “Even if you’re not interested in bidding on any of them, just go see the creative visions of our local artists.”