July 17, 2019

BY ASHLEY NEQUEST

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The end of a semester is typically a swirl of study notes and final papers; for the second-year interior decorating students it has been slightly different. Through “up-cycling” old chairs into works of art, quite literally, students have finished their semester in a flurry of fabric, paint and pride.

During the past few weeks the students have taken on the difficult task of completely redesigning old chairs to be auctioned off for charity. According to Leslee Squirrell, the program co-ordinator, this year was the first time the students were asked to incorporate famous paintings while they reupholstered, painted and decorated the chairs.

The end results were something quite spectacular as students stopped to admire the chairs in the atrium on Nov. 30. The proud students stood by their works of art as onlookers studied their designs.

The chairs feature aspects of famous paintings ranging from Banksy’s Balloon Girl to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Some groups spent upwards of 50 hours working on their chairs.

“Just because of all the layering,” said Courtney Krouskie. “We did the upholstery ourselves so it took a lot of time.”

Krouskie and her group created a chair featuring Edgar Degas’s Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers. The painting was recreated on the seat of the chair by students hand painting artworks that are famous for technicality.

“I was surprised by how technical it was to paint the picture but it came out really well and I’m really happy with it,” said Krouskie.

The students worked in a group for the assignment, utilizing each other’s strengths in one of their more creative assignments. Though the students spent more time than they thought they would on the chairs, they all seemed to have a similar take away.

“(I gained) more confidence about my artistic skill,” said Noah Ramage. “I never thought I was good at painting before and now we’ve got a chair that shows our knowledge throughout the program.”

The chairs will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the program’s annual Chairity Gala on March 22, 2016. The gala will be held at the Waterloo Regional Museum with all proceeds being donated to Habitat for Humanity.

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