Call for Painted Chairs to line the Bay & Algoma Street corner lot during the SuperiorFinn Midsummer Art Festival, Sunday June 22 11 am - 5 pm. Find an old chair and get creative! Paint it! Bead it! Upholster it! Mosaic it! While the poster shows only blue and white chairs, you are not limited to only these colours. The chairs in the poster are from the Finnish festival in Marquette Michigan a few years back; the whole town decked itself out in blue-and-white chairs in honor of its residents of Finnish descent.
For our Painted Chairs there are 3 themes:
1. Midsummer Garden
2. Finnish ancestry or history
3. Bay and Algoma St. history, cultures, families, shops, etc.
Open to all! You do not have to be Finnish to participate. This call for painted chairs is to draw attention to the new Midsummer Garden being created behind the Hoito. Drop your chair off before 11 am. on June 22nd. Using the chairs, we will make a path to the Midsummer Garden lot. There will be a People's Choice Award. You can either keep your chair afterwards, or donate it to the Silent Auction with all funds going to the Midsummer Garden. I will post more information about the SuperiorFinn Juhannus (Midsummer) Art Festival later.
Yesterday, I went up this narrow flight of wooden stairs at the Finnish Labour Temple. I was surprised to see that the newel post at the base of these stairs is almost identical to the one on the stairs at my house! My house was built in 1908; the Labour Temple was built 1910, but both must've got the oak from the shipyards, where surplus oak from making the captain's quarters of ships, was sold. These stairs lead up, up towards the tower, to the "Red Room" just below the tower. In that room is a ladder, a sturdy old oaken ladder that you have to climb to get up to the "cone", the space midway to the tower (see below). At the top of this old ladder you have to climb through a hatch and then climb another old sturdy wooden ladder to get into the tower. These stairs are the easy part; they are found behind a small skinny wooden door in the room on the second floor that used to be the bar, aka The Finn Bin. My son said, look at all the cigarette burns on the carpet. I said, Well, it was a bar. What do you expect?
The room at the top of those skinny oaken stairs is here, in this photo taken by my sister, Katja, who is a photo artist.The Red Room at the top of the stairs is found above the yellow brick. You can also see "the cone". The window on the right is...
the south window of the Red Room, looking out. You can see the corner of Bay& Algoma Streets from this window. Out down Bay St. towards the horizon you can see a glimmer of Lake Superior and the Three Sisters Islands. The brown brick building on the southwest corner of Bay and Algoma used to be the old Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, where I used to work after I finished high school. All the old Finnish bushworkers used to come to my wicket as I was the only Finnish speaker; I have lots of stories about those old men that others called Bay Street bums. Now the bank is the Madhouse Restaurant, great food but watch out for cougars and married men on the prowl on Friday and Saturday nights! Kitty corner to the Madhouse is where the Painted Chairs will begin their march, and extend in the direction of Secord St.!
In the Red Room I found some old dusty music books, some probably close to 100 years old, heaped haphazardly in open boxes. The books are covered in dust and my fingers became black with dirt from handling them! Many contain handwritten song sheets for entire orchestra arrangements. Some song sheets were mailed from the US, as one envelope had a 3c US stamp on it. The song that this black book opens up to says Kesa Ilta Walssi [Summer Night Waltz]. I am going to photocopy some of the pages to make "Musical Chairs" for the Painted Chairs of the Midsummer Festival. In the "wrestling room" behind the Red Room I found some dusty old oak chairs. I plan to decorate 2 chairs with copies of these old music sheet pages, and bring this old music to life again in a new way!