A couple weeks ago, with thanks to my friend Anne Davis, I went to the studio of artist Sherri Parrish, in Green Hills, to look at some flood damaged chairs which have been turned into utterly complete objects of beauty. You, too, can witness the rebirth of these chairs on August 12, at the Belle Meade Plantation. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to support this amazing idea to help raise money for the flood victims.
Some of you may have heard about this story as Emme Baxter, from the Tennessean, recently wrote about Double Impact in her Sunday column. It is a story worth repeating: one of a community linked together through discarded chairs with a vision of how to help those most in need.
Here’s the story. As Sherri and her husband Craig were driving through River Plantation they saw scores and scores of chairs along the roadside. An inspired presence called out, “Hello, these chairs don’t need to be discarded; they have a higher calling.” The couple asked permission to collect the chairs and then enlisted the Nashville Rescue Mission to assist with detoxifying, stripping and sanding them in preparation for painting. The men of the Nashville Mission embraced the project; not only was this a way to help the flood victims, for many the chairs symbolized their plight– a sense of abandonment and rebuilding through the mission. The men labored hours on each chair preparing them for the paint brushes of many Nashville’s artists and VIP’s.
And paint them they did. So far, 89 chairs have been painted and refurbished. Notable Nashvillians from all walks of life – artists, athletes, musicians, songwriters and politicians – have joined together in the Double Impact project. Chairs have been painted by his honor, Karl Dean and family, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw & family, Manuel, Barbara Mandrell, the Reverend Becca Stevens, Michael W. Smith and so many more.
The chairs will be auctioned off via a live auction on August 12th at the Belle Meade Plantation. If you can not make the event, place a sealed bid online before Thursday at www.doubleimpactnashville.org Or, you can click on that link right now to view all if these creations. It’s worth blocking out 10 minutes to peruse. Many chairs will never be used as a chair, but more as a way to symbolize Nashville’s road to recovery. Like the flood, Double Impact involved Nashvillians from all walks of life, rich and poor alike, to say, “We are Nashville. We are one community.”