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1,000 chairs

Manitou, bring out your chairs.
Manitou, bring out your chairs.
The Chair Project

It’s almost time for the Chair Project in Manitou Springs. In case you don’t know about it: acclaimed sculptor Sean O’Meallie thought it would be a cool idea to empty Manitou Avenue of all cars and people, then line up 1,000 chairs down the center of the street.

Along the way, he found some other people (including me) who also thought that would be cool. Among these are people who will take photos and video of this giant art installation, people who will sing opera and play instruments from rooftops along the avenue, and people who will be inside giant puppets.

It all takes place early on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 9 (bad-weather date Oct. 10). See complete schedule below.

The project team is still looking for chairs from Manitou residents. They should be approximately 30-45 inches tall and 15-25 inches wide; size is important so that no chair blocks anyone’s view of the chairs in front and behind it. Please, no barstools, beanbags or Barcaloungers.

Chairs will be accepted at the Business of Art Center’s Venue 515, 515 Manitou Ave., 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 6-8. Please call 632-1388 or email jana@thebac.org to schedule your drop-off time. Chairs will be returned noon-7 p.m. Oct. 9, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 10, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 11.

The schedule on Oct. 9:

6-10:30 a.m. Closure of Manitou Avenue from South Path (Business of Art Center) to Park Avenue (Tubby’s Turnaround).

6-7 a.m. Trucks and crews deliver chairs to the site.

7-8:30 a.m. Official photographers and videographers document the installation. Site is closed to public access, including sidewalks and crosswalks.

8:30-9 a.m. Open to the public, but no sitting on chairs.

8:35-9:30 a.m. Entertainment on street and rooftops.

9 a.m. Open to seating.

9:30 a.m. Trucks and crews remove chairs from site.

10:30 a.m. Manitou Avenue reopened to vehicles.

If you’d like to come see the installation (and we hope you will), you should know about the detours. You can see the map on the Chair Project site.

Also, several Manitou Avenue businesses will open early to allow the public to observe through their windows (as long as you stay back 6 feet so you won’t be visible in the photos and video). Those businesses are: Spice of Life, 727 Manitou Ave.; Green Horse Gallery, 729 Manitou Ave.; Marika’s Coffeehouse, 739 Manitou Ave.; PJ’s Bistro, 819 Manitou Ave.; Townhouse Lounge, 907 Manitou Ave.; Adam’s Mountain Café, 934 Manitou Ave. (in the Spa Building); European Café, 935 Manitou Ave.; Sahara Café, 954 Manitou Ave.; and Maté Factor, 966 Manitou Ave.

So come see this once-in-a-lifetime artwork. It’ll be legendary!

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