’90 Painted Chairs’ Auction Offers One-of-a-Kind Parking Chairs

VisitPITTSBURGH and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council encourage bidders to “pull up a chair,” and aim for a chance to take the chair home.


VisitPITTSBURGH and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council have transformed the infamous Pittsburgh parking chair (for non-locals, that’s a folding chair used to unofficially reserve a street parking spot) into a symbol of inclusivity with an auction that will benefit the local art community.

The 90 Painted Chairs program — the number is inspired by Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods — will showcase the work of local artists while raising money for the Arts Council’s new Teaching Artist initiative. Pittsburgh area artists were invited to paint their own parking chairs to be auctioned in the online “CHAIR-ity.”

In addition, the program serves as an off-shoot of VisitPITTSBURGH’S national marketing campaign, “Pull Up a Chair. You Are Welcomed Here.” The campaign celebrates the city’s arts and culture and signifies Pittsburgh as a welcoming city, symbolized by the act of offering a stranger a chair in various scenarios — at a cafe, a ballet class, while fishing along the Allegheny River or at Squirrel Hill’s Littles Shoes.

“We wanted Pittsburghers to identify with it,” says Tom Loftus, Chief Marketing Director at VisitPITTSBURGH. With the “Pull Up a Chair” campaign chairs as a canvas, artists from all over the city put distinctive twists on them. “Every single chair is unique. We all have our favorites,” says Loftus.

The online charity’s official launch will be Tuesday, February 25th, at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Bids will start around $100 for each, and anyone in the United States will be allowed to bid via VisitPITTSBURGH. The reception will also serve as a networking opportunity for all artists participating in the 90 Painted Chairs program.

Loftus says that the event, which is by invitation only, will turn heads of bidders, networkers and art lovers alike. “Once you see the chairs,” he says, “you’ll be very impressed.”

Categories: The 412