“Standing Tall,” or as many call it “the big yellow chair,” is missing from its Raider Drive Park location.
Greenway board Chairman Cameron Fisher said the piece is safe, although he is not sure of the exact location.
“No, it hasn’t been stolen. You see, the big yellow chair doesn’t belong to us — us being Cleveland and Bradley County. From day one the chair has been ‘on loan’ from the artist, leaving it vulnerable for purchase by someone who might want to snatch it up and place it at their summer home for their exclusive enjoyment,” Fisher said.
“If that were to happen, this one of-a-kind piece of interactive public art would be gone for good. But the chair is not gone for good … it’s just on hiatus until we show that we want it to be a permanent part of our community.”
A plaque on the back of the interactive piece listed “Sitting Tall” as on loan since the day it was installed.
“We feel the yellow chair has become a part of the community,” Fisher said
In an effort to raise funds to make “Sitting Tall” a permanent fixture and to raise funds for other public, interactive art on the Greenway, the board is starting Friends of the Greenway.
Fisher said the Greenway board has been discussing having a donation branch for years.
“As the Greenway has become more and more a part of our community, it has just been something that we feel needs to be done,” Fisher said. “We needed some avenue for giving.”
The Greenway has applied for official nonprofit status with the federal government. Although the Greenway has not been officially designated a 501(c)(3), the Greenway’s attorney has assured the board donations would still be able to be claimed as tax deductible.
“The attorney said it doesn’t matter. As long as you have applied for it, people can claim it as tax exempt,” Fisher said.
Opportunity to join Friends of the Greenway will also be highlighted at the “Chalk the Walk” event on April 12.
Fisher said a Friends of the Greenway T-shirt will be “unveiled at the event.”
After Chalk the Walk, the T-shirts will be available to those who sign up and donate by bringing a receipt of the gift to the Cleveland/ Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
Joining Friends of the Greenway can be done on the Greenway website at http://www.cbcgreenway.com/cbcgreenway/Friends.html
At this point there is no minimum required donation to join. Fisher said as the group expands it will be further developed.
Fisher said as art develops on the Greenway, the focus will still be on “interactive, public art.”
Each of the three interactive pieces that have been featured on the linear park are the work of artist Josh Coleman. Each of the pieces was installed with the understanding the work was on loan.
“I have a big burden for creating experiences and I feel like whatever I begin to design that is going to be enjoyed by the public … I want them to be able to experience it in such a way that they can interact, play with it, climb on it and really transform the pleasure and the beauty of enjoying something for what it is,” Coleman said in a previous interview.
Coleman has said he hoped his art would inspire other local artists to offer work for use on the Greenway to expand the types of art those using the linear park can enjoy.
“Sitting Tall” had not been specifically developed for the Greenway. Before being moved to its Raider Drive location, it was on display in front of the Museum Center at Five Points.
“The artist agreed at our (the Greenway board) request, to place it (“Sitting Tall”) out there to see how people would react with it,” Fisher said.
Fisher said he is confident that Friends of the Greenway will raise enough money to purchase the yellow chair and more permanent public art in the future.