DELRAY BEACH — Each of the 15 decorative chairs artist Agata Ren designed has a back story and strong connection to Delray Beach.
You’ll soon see the art displays scattered throughout the city, each emblematic of the neighborhood visitors have ventured into. The 7-foot chairs, with the word “ART” carved from the top, will be placed throughout the city in April as part of a public art effort called Art Citywide.
“Each chair represents a different city stakeholder and they’re all being connected through the art,” said Ren, of Boca Raton. The design of each piece was selected after Ren interviewed someone with a department or organization meaningful to Delray Beach — such as the fire department, cultural hub Old School Square and nature house Sandoway Discovery Center.
Each piece is inspired by the unique responses to Ren’s questions when she prodded about what each department values most about Delray Beach. For example, the chair inspired by Old School Square is decorated with two drama masks, a paint palette and musical notes to represent “all things culture,” Ren said.
The piece inspired by Sandoway Discovery Center, a marine life education hub, is adorned with sharks.
The chairs will all be placed in downtown Delray Beach as well as neighborhoods outside the downtown, in an effort to connect all of the city’s areas and encourage tourism in less-frequented neighborhoods.
“That’s one of our main goals: To reconnect other parts of Delray Beach,” said Dan Bellante, chair of the city’s Public Art Advisory Board. “The intent was to spread public art outside the downtown. This is our first project that really does that.”
The artwork connects visitors and residents to Delray Beach, as well as areas of Delray Beach to one another through interactive elements, Ren said.
Each chair will include a QR Code that, once scanned, will lead visitors to a map of Delray Beach with the location of each chair, details about what inspired the design and information about the location in which it was placed.
“This way you can sort of scavenger hunt around town for the other chairs,” Bellante said.
Ren chose go create 15 chairs, identical in frame yet different in design, so people can sit on the artwork and take photos with it, she said.
“I believe public art is supposed to be interactive,” Ren said. “You should be engaged and be able to use it.”
The chairs were assembled and publicly revealed for the first time at Old School Square on March 17. They’ve since been placed into storage until a location is picked for each piece.
All of the chair will be placed by the end of April, Ren said.