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Meet the Artist: Chair Celebrates Man's Best Friend

Patch profiles the creative minds behind the Needham Merchants Association's Adirondack project.

The Needham Merchants Association's 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 Joanne Cataldo, whose chair can be seen at .

For a full list of chairs, artists and locations, .

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Title: "The Scottish Chair"
Artist: Joanne Cataldo
Sponsored by: Doggone-It!
Find it at: , 915 Great Plain Avenue

Why did you decide to participate in this project? I love living and working in Needham; it’s a great town. The "A Chair To Remember" project lets me use my talents to support my community and to give back a little. Plus, I thought it was a great idea and a challenge for me as I am a strictly canvas-based painter and had never done something like this.

What was your inspiration for the piece? Along with painting, my other passion is dogs, especially terriers. Part of my artistic practice includes oil portraits of dogs on commission. I’ve been a Doggone-It! customer since they opened in Needham about five years ago, so it was a natural fit and I thought of it right away.

My beloved Scottish terrier, Archibald mac Duff (a regular at Doggone-It!), passed away in May at the age of 7 from cancer. This chair was a way of remembering him as well as celebrating the great Scottish breeds. As you will notice, the chair shows a Scottie in the foreground with a Westie and Cairn frolicking about in a Highlands landscape. I chose the title as a play on the superstitious term for the Shakespeare play “Macbeth”—it is referred to in the theaters as “The Scottish Play." I just thought that would complete the Scottishness of the whole thing by calling it “The Scottish Chair."

What is your background as an artist? I’ve studied art since the age of seven when my father started taking me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sundays. After that came formal training at the School of Visual Arts, New York City, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and, most recently, the New Art Center, Newtonville, MA. Along the way there were master classes with Philip Pearlstein at the 92nd Street Y in New York, May Stevens in Santa Fe, NM and Christian White on Long Island, NY. I am currently a resident artist at , an artist-owned working studio complex.

Where can someone see more of your work? My website is, www.lapittura.com. You can contact me at 781-292-0278 to schedule a studio visit. Also, I participate in every year in May and the Gorse Mill Studios Holiday Sale and Open Studios in December.

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Click here to read more profiles of "A Chair To Remember" artists.

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