The Needham Merchants Association's "A Chair To Remember" project brings together local artists, businesses and organizations in an effort to draw more people downtown and encourage them to shop local.
Placed throughout downtown Needham, each Adirondack chair has its own theme and was painted by a local artist. The chairs will be auctioned off at an event in September, with proceeds to benefit town beautification projects and local students.
Needham Patch will be profiling some of the artists behind these creations throughout the summer. Today, we chat with Lynda Davis Jeha, whose chair can be seen at The Center Cafe.
For a full list of chairs, artists and locations, click here.
Titles: "Solar Flare" and "Moon Glow"
Artist name(s): Lynda Davis Jeha
Sponsored by: The Center Cafe
Find it at: The Center Cafe, 1027 Great Plain Ave. (by the Needham Center train station)
Why did you decide to participate in this project? When I saw the “Call to Artists” announcement in the newspaper I thought it would be fun take part in this project.
I love the idea of paring artists with businesses in a collaborative way. It has been a wonderful way to connect with people around town that I wouldn't ordinarily have the opportunity to meet. Other towns and cities have exhibited painted bears, cows etc., so what a great way to get the town of Needham on the map with their functional art! Adirondack chairs seem to be the craze; I see them everywhere.
I am especially looking forward to the live auction—what an exciting and energetic outing for art lovers, families, and just anyone who wants get out to see some great art and meet new people.
What was your inspiration for the piece? I wanted try to my hand at some functional art. This project provided an opportunity to take me out of my comfort zone of painting on canvas or paper. Now the challenge was to render a design on a 3-D surface area using house paint which is very different than painting with artist’s acrylics or watercolors.
As for the design, I wanted to combine my love of astronomy and abstract art. After showing my sponsor, The Center Cafe, my sketches, owners Karen and Steve suggested doing a second chair. It was very important that both chairs share a theme. "Solar Flare" is a brightly colored sun with waves and swirls; you can't miss it! "Moon Glow" has a more subtle color scheme with a moon and stars flowing in soft waves. To me, it is like a lavender throne.
What is your background as an artist? For as long as I can remember, I have dabbled in different forms of arts and crafts. I feel fortunate to have been born into a family of engineers, botanists and chemists who also explored their creative interests as painters, woodworkers and jewelers. I was especially inspired by my father, an engineer and painter, now in his 80s, who is still actively painting and exhibiting his work in the San Diego, CA area. It is of no surprise that my brother is a professional photographer and my niece is currently enrolled in a photography program at college. Art has always and continues to be an integral part of my family.
Growing up, I was conflicted between following a path in science or art so I decided to simultaneously pursue both. For many years, I worked in the environmental science field and as a costume jewelry designer. About 10 years ago, I decided to return to my medium of choice—painting. Just recently, I began teaching art to children grades K-5. Teaching has been such a joyful experience. I feel that it is my true calling and look forward to expanding my curriculum to encompass all age groups.
What is your medium of choice? A hallmark of my work is my fascination with color. Some of my paintings are carefully conceived, while others are more spontaneous, but the common thread to all of my work is a bold exploration of various color schemes and the ability to push color past traditional limits. I consider each piece of art that I create a study in color and design. My main goal working with various color schemes and abstract images is to evoke a particular mood or emotional state from my audience.
Throughout the years, I have primarily painted landscapes or geometric designs using a wide range of mediums such as oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolor. In my recent work, I have been exploring mixed media on canvas using Golden acrylic paints, mediums and gels. It is amazing the kind of surface you can create by layering different mediums and materials. I am excited about moving in the direction of sculpture and more 3-D work.
Where can someone see more of your work? Please visit my website, www.lyndadavisjehaart.com, and I will be participating in Jamaica Plain Open Studios on Sept. 22 and 23. For more information, visit http://jpopenstudios.com/jamaica-plain-open-studios.