Musical Chairs 2017: Turning Trash Into Treasure

Musical Chairs 2017: Turning Trash Into Treasure

A joint fundraiser between The Scrap Exchange and Durham Medical Orchestra tasks 12 local artists to create art from recycled materials

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Photo courtesy Durham Medical Orchestra

Musical Chairs 2017, multiple events hosted by The Scrap Exchange and Durham Medical Orchestra, seeks to raise money and awareness for the local nonprofits. Twelve artists have been invited to adorn old chairs in a style inspired by the orchestra. The finished chairs will presented to a panel of judges who will award prizes to the best in show at the Grand Finale Gala Sunday, March 5, from 5-7pm at the Durham Arts Council. Then the decorated chairs will be auctioned off, with proceeds to benefit the organizations.

Musical Chairs is a great opportunity to learn how each of these nonprofits helps to make Durham a more vibrant place to live. By collecting old materials for reuse by artists and residents alike, The Scrap Exchange keeps volumes of reusable items from entering the landfill; 167 tons of what might have been tossed out was saved in 2016. Fostering creativity in the community is a goal that both The Scrap Exchange and the Durham Medical Orchestra have in common. In the orchestra, health professionals and students perform classical pieces for the community.

Sara Williams –whose husband, Hank, will be the auctioneer at the Grand Finale Gala – is one of the artists presenting a decorated chair for the fundraiser. “The Scrap Exchange is a Durham landmark,” Sara says about the creative reuse center. No stranger to chair restoration, Sara looks forward to contributing one of her renowned “Hot Seats” to an event benefiting nonprofits that contribute to the overall wellness of Durham. “They are such educational and cultural resources for all of us.”

Recycled material is the medium of choice for many Durham artists. One of these artists is Kathryn DeMarco, gallery director at Craven Allen Gallery, who knows that creating pieces of functional art is just one method of bringing together and enriching a community. “There will be a lot of cool chairs that will enhance homes throughout the Triangle.” As one of the judges at the gala, Kathryn looks forward to seeing the unique ways each artist embellishes their chair.

The Grand Finale Gala is not the only opportunity to get involved in Musical Chairs 2017. On Friday, May 5, at 7:30pm, the Durham Medical Orchestra will perform their spring concert “Encore” at Baldwin Auditorium. Admission is free, and the event will celebrate the winners of Musical Chairs.