Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

'Chairs for Charity' event to raise funds for Idyllwild Arts Academy


Last updated 3/24/2018 at 12:53pm

The annual “Chairs for Charity” kicks off March 28 at the Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery in Idyllwild to raise funds for student scholarships for the internationally known Idyllwild Arts Academy.

The event marks the sponsoring Associates of Idyllwild Arts 50th year of fundraising to support Idyllwild Arts that continues to benefit the academy and its summer program.

The kickoff at the Middle Ridge Gallery, 54301 N. Circle Dr., in Idyllwild begins Wednesday, March 28, and will run through April 8. Then, the show will move to the La Quinta Museum, April 10 to May 20.

The Chairs for Charity will feature the works of 15 artists who make chairs in both two-and-three-dimensional designs. Four of the artists creating chairs are students currently attending the academy.

The Associates of Idyllwild Arts will conduct two receptions. The reception in Idyllwild will be held at Middle Ridge, 4-6 p.m., Saturday, March 31, and the one at La Quinta Museum, 77-885 Avenida Montezuma, in La Quinta, will be held 5-7 p.m., Thursday, May 3. The public is invited to both receptions at no cost. There will be live entertainment at the Middle Ridge reception, the associates said.

As an example of the chairs being displayed is one by Mark Wilden who spent 40 years as a finish carpenter. He collects burl wood and red shank from the San Jacinto mountain area, creates a chair from the hard wood then works turquoise, lapis and malachite in the wood cracks making a unique natural chair. Many of his chairs resemble animals found in the nearby mountains.

Online bidding on the chairs will open at the end of March. To place a bid and see photographs of the creations being displayed, visit Some chairs being made by the artists, however, will not be available online rather they will be presented only at the live auction 5 p.m. Saturday, May 26, during the anniversary celebration on the Idyllwild Arts Campus.

Tickets are $45 per person and include beverages, dinner, music, dancing, a silent auction and the inaugural “Chairs for Charity” exhibit and auction. Tickets for the event can be purchased online or by sending a check to The Associates 50th, P.O. Box 303, Idyllwild, CA 92549.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at [email protected]


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