GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Many call the city of Glens Falls “Hometown U.S.A.” As of Saturday, hometown has a throne.
During Glens Falls Wing Fest on Saturday, the city and the Glens Falls Collaborative unveiled a new, jumbo-sized Adirondack chair outside Fountain Square Outfitters, where Ridge and Warren streets meet at Centennial Circle. Constructed by the Adirondack Folk School and painted by local artist Anthony Richichi, the chair depicts a blue-skied day on Glen Street – much like more crowded one just around the corner, enjoying Wing Fest.
“We wanted to capture what it means to be here,” said Richichi, who coordinated with the city to figure out the right look for the new landmark. “I love surrealism, so I wanted it to feel kind of like you’re sitting in the clouds.”
Richichi was first commissioned for the project back in 2019, only to then be slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic. He received the chair and started painting in 2021.
The project was his first using an Adirondack chair as a canvas, but he doesn’t want it to be his last. Painting something in three dimensions comes with surprises.
“This was wild,” Richichi said with a laugh. “The slates – like the open slats – the back is more like six individual paintings, the way it’s spliced up. Getting around the slats was a challenge I didn’t anticipate.”
The hope is that the chair will serve as a photo spot and another artistic landmark for a city that is gaining more by the day. The Arts District of Glens Falls project hired artists to paint seven electrical boxes downtown last year – with three more coming. Currently, the group is also seeking artists to create murals on the walls of some iconic downtown buildings. Adding more to the city’s artistic repertoire has been a project years in the making.
“We’re really excited, if you can imagine waiting 8 years for moments like this,” said Kate Austin-Avon of Advokate LLC, who unveiled the chair alongside Richichi, and is a leader of the arts district project. “It’s very exciting.”
The Arts District of Glens Falls is also creating an arts trail, that will connect the Hyde Museum, Chapman Museum and other galleries and studios in between. The project will include sidewalk stamps, bike racks and more.