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Meet the Artist: From Phonebook to Front Window

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 Zilin Cui, who along with Carly Cheng designed the sheep-themed chair that can be viewed at .

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

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Title: "One Sheep, Two Sheep, White Sheep, Black Sheep"
Artists:  Carly Cheng and Zilin Cui
Sponsored by: Black Sheep Knitting Company
Find it at: Black Sheep Knitting Company, 1500 Highland Ave.

Why did you decide to participate in this project? It sounded fun, and I've never painted a chair before. It was also another way to get more involved in the community.

What was your inspiration for the piece? Sheep, of course! Also, something bright and happy. We had played with the idea of just painting the chair to look like a sheep itself but eventually decided upon the meadow idea because it screamed "lawn chair" more. The store was just so cute and colorful, and we wanted the chair to feel the same way.

What is your background as an artist? I used to take drawing, mainly sketching lessons, when I was in elementary school, and I learned traditional Chinese painting for a while. I also doodled way too much for my own good, especially during class. 

What is your medium of choice? The mediums I use most often include digital painting (love that undo button and the fact that you can fix practically anything), watercolor, colored pencil and copic markers. Recently, the high school art curriculum has allowed me to experiment with other mediums such as clay, chalk pastel, acrylic, charcoal pencils, and even masking tape. I really liked the clay and acrylic mediums, and I also hope to learn oil painting sometime in the future.

Where can someone see more of your work? Well, I did the this year, and I think there is a drawing up in the town hospital somewhere. Otherwise, my work would be found at the high school when they hold art exhibits.

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

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