Our Town Belfast is installing Sit Down Belfast, a project that places 15 artist-designed and painted chairs along Main Street from Post Office Square to the Park on Main.
The OTB Design Committee identified a need for additional seating throughout downtown and thought of an iconic Adirondack chair but knew the traditional design often poses a challenge to get in and out.
Pegi Miller, co-owner of Himes Miller Design, OTB Board Member, and Design Committee Chair, updated the classic design to allow easier accessibility. The committee worked with local craftsman Doug Bell to build the prototype which increases the seat width and height. and arm height to accessible dimensions.
“Sit Down Belfast is a project incorporating many ideas that solve problems in one go,” said Miller, in a news release. “It is wonderful when this happens! Ideas the committee identified were not having sufficient seating downtown, art should be present and available to all, accessible seating is needed for those with mobility issues, and Waldo County has many talented artists whose work we would like to support.”
For production, Front Street Shipyard cut the wood on their water jet machine. It was then delivered to the artist for painting and assembly. No two chairs are exactly the same as each artist assembled their chair with their design in mind. Each chair has a plaque representing the artist, individual sponsor, and our Presenting Sponsors First National Bank and First National Wealth Management - all of who we thank for bringing this project together.
The many community members who sponsored a chair are Allen Insurance and Financial, Hiram Andrews for Morgan Andrews, Colonial Gables Oceanfront Village, Dockside Family Restaurant, Ray and Vickie Dollar, Front Street Pub, Walt and Lainne Harris, Katwalk, Bob and April Kochan, Jenn Michaels and Rich Johnson, Linda Whitson for Harold Jones, Anne-Marie Nolin and Bob Adler, and Karna Olsson for Peg.
The artists who brought their visions to life to give visitors a place to sit and interact downtown are Rachel Adler and Autumn Smith, Elaine and John Bielenberg, Jacki Cassida, MJ Viano Crowe, Annadeene Fowler, Ash Inglenook, Samantha Maheu, Ashley Atwood Megquier, Pegi Miller, Debbie Mitchell, Heidi Reader, Meghan Reilly, Kristyne Sanderson, Troy Howard Middle School Art Classes 2021/22, and Waterfall Arts.
For their expertise and guidance with this project, we would like to thank Viking Lumber for materials, Front Street Shipyard for cutting the wood, and Bob Richards from Belfast Public Works. Thanks to Pegi Miller, Mary Mortier, and Larry Jones for installing the chairs.
To learn more about the project, visit ourtownbelfast.org/seat.