Chair Project YVR puts art into words—and white paint

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If you’ve walked around Vancouver these last few sunny days, you may have noticed some white chairs in unexpected places. A unique form of marketing, Chair Project YVR by Glitz Entertainment, is hoping to drum up some publicity for Glitz’s Lab Art Show on Saturday (May 3).

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Twenty-four chairs have been placed around the city in installments. Each chair is painted white, like a blank canvas, and bears a quote from an artist that was inspirational to each painter. Viewers can guess the author of the quote for a chance to win a free ticket to the Lab Art Show.

Shay Hickling, event manager for both projects, says the group was inspired by the bright red umbrellas hanging from trees along Vancouver’s seawall (the Rainblossom Project). “We saw stuff like this, and we were like ‘Oh my God, Vancouver loves this kind of thing,’” she said. “So we thought, why not try to do something that inspires people.”

When the team realized it could use Chair Project YVR to draw attention to their biannual multiplatform art show, everything seemed to click. “The whole reason we decided to do it was to do a kind of triangular, almost, marketing campaign for not only Glitz Entertainment’s Lab Art Show, but also the artists,” Hickling says.

Artist Thibault Sendra was happy to help out, claiming one of the chairs for himself and his wife, with the pair painting it and choosing the quote together, and placing it in Kitsilano.

“I’m just like a little ant, to be part of the group and to help to make them grow,” he says, downplaying his own participation.

The Lab Art Show that all of this leads up to is a large multimedia event, with painting, short films, acrobatics, and much more.

“It’s going to be full of creativity,” says Sendra. “They’ve tried to bring the diversity of local artists from inexperienced to more upper level; they want to promote their artists.”

Whether it is clever advertising or an art campaign in and of itself, the Chair Project, both Sendra and Hickling believe, plays a large role in getting people who wouldn’t otherwise look at art involved.

“Maybe it will inspire people to do something like this on their own, or make people realize that there’s so much talent in Vancouver,” Hickling says. “Sometimes it’s kind of hidden, it’s like a hidden gem when you’re finding artists, or different kind of really cool things that are happening.“People don’t go to galleries because they think it’s too expensive, they cannot afford that, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not about the price,” adds Sendra. “Just go, sometimes, enjoy, observe people’s creativity and imagine a different world, or a different concept in mind. There’s creativity everywhere, right? Everyone is creative.”

The Lab Art Show will take place at W7 Studios of Main Street from 7 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. The chairs will be in various locations in Vancouver until tomorrow night (May 3).

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