Imagine a line of chairs, 1,000 of them, lined up one after the other along the main drag in Manitou Springs, glinting in the early morning sun. Colorado Springs sculptor Sean O'Meallie did, and with help from the Business of Art Center in Manitou, he'll be making The Manitou Chair Project happen, beginning this morning at 6 a.m. His plan is to document the moment and use the images to further public awareness of the artsy suburb through posters and an art exhibit early next year. But in the meantime, he has to collect some chairs.
We're not using not fancy chairs, O'Meallie stresses, just the kind people use every day. They'll be borrowed from the community for the sake of the moment and then returned, so there will be no new materials used. And we think we will have images that will expand the story of Manitou and advance the cause of art, if I can be so bold. It's also a social-practice piece; it relies on an entire community to make it happen. As an artist, I dont own a townscape or 1,000 chairs. Once it's up, he adds, the installation will last only a few hours in the early morning, during Manitou's tourist off-season. And, just as quietly, it'll be gone by Monday morning.