May 22, 2018
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Artists paint chairs for fundraiser

Karen "Drifty" Perry (left) and Felice Janes of Harbor House with the "Bass Harbor Head Light" chair by Belinda Lawson.
By Emily Burnham, BDN Staff

The “lobster ladies” at the Harbor House wanted to do something a little different this year for their annual art auction fundraiser. The sixth annual Lobsters on the Sound, a yearly benefit for Harbor House, a community service center in Southwest Harbor, will this year feature Adirondack chairs hand-painted by local artists, in addition to the usual paintings and prints. The auction will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Southwest Harbor home of Harbor House board member Jackie Montfort.

“We wanted to do something different and unique, as opposed to always doing paintings and prints,” said Diana Novella, event manager for Harbor House. “We knew things like this had been done before, and we saw an article about it and thought it might be something fun for us to do.”

The chairs were purchased and distributed to a number of local artists, who welcomed the chance to paint on something a little different. Chairs range from the decoupaged “Chair-y Tree,” created by Laney Correa, depicting a cherry tree in bloom against a backdrop of mountains and ocean; the “Thunder Chair,” by Mike Duffy, which shows a scene of Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park; and “Lupines on the Sound,” a brilliant blue, purple and green chair by Ed Oechslie.

“Adirondack chairs have that kind of coastal feel,” said Novella. “So many homes here have them on their back decks, and with this, it can be more than just another chair — it can be art. We gave them total artistic liberty to do whatever they wanted, and they really came back with gorgeous stuff.”

Lobsters on the Sound is Harbor House’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Half of the community organization’s budget comes from fundraising and donations, so an event like Lobster on the Sound makes a huge impact on what kinds of programming Harbor House can offer.

“We use it to support our health and fitness programs, our children’s center and youth sports programs, which are offered for free to the community,” said Novella. “It’s a really fun, beautiful event and we always have a great time each year.”

In addition to health, fitness and youth sports programs, the Harbor House develops and supports the Summer Festival of the Arts, Camp Beach Cliff, the Mount Desert Island Sailing Center, Acadian Little League and many other programs. The center is open to island residents of all ages. More information on the activities offered at Harbor House can be found at

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