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Lift chairs from Canyons Golden Eagle lift turned into art for ‘chairity’

SHARE Lift chairs from Canyons Golden Eagle lift turned into art for ‘chairity’

PARK CITY — Utah artists and corporations are joining forces to raise money for charity and make smiles at the same time.

Sparks are flying at the Park City Iron Man studio as the iron works artist creates a tree-limb motif for an old ski lift chair. The Canyons donated its 42-year-old Golden Eagle lift for an exhibit and auction.

"Canyons is very proud to see our old Golden Eagle lifts as works of art," said Mike Goar, managing director of the Canyons Resort, in a news release. "We are thrilled to have teamed up with Kimball Art Center to raise funds through the auction for a variety of nonprofit organizations. With all of Canyons' vast improvements for the 2010-11 season, this charity event with the Golden Eagle chairs is a unique way to keep alive the history of the resort."

Park City Iron Man owner Mike Bronn says, "I'm trying to make (the lift into) a wood rocking chair, so we're taking steel and trying to make it look like branches."

The "Chairity Lift" exhibit begins on the Kimball Art Center porch with a chariot of fire and rickshaws. Inside, the creations range from the colorful to the cozy.

The exhibit has captured national attention. EBay is auctioning some of the lift chairs, and the New York Times will run a story on the exhibit Sunday.

"It's primarily a fundraiser," explains Robin Marrouche, executive director of the Kimball Art Center, "so we hope to be able to raise a lot of money for the Kimball Art Center and our free education programs and exhibits. And also the 20 other charities we're able to support with this."

Marrouche says participants were given free rein to express their unique point of view to transform a chair lift into a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Besides 20 artists, 20 corporations have put their creative talents into other lift chairs. Skullcandy designed a lift chair, with 25 percent of the proceeds going to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

"One of our employees, Johnny Mack, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and he's recovering now," says Skullcandy designer Mike Odland. "That kind of grabbed our hearts and made us think about other people in that situation."

A very romantic lift chair designed by Gygaplex Architects will benefit the University of Utah Architecture program, which builds homes on the Navajo Reservation.

The KSL designer added a 3-D LED TV to one lift chair with a Blu-ray edition of "White Christmas" — proceeds will go to Quarters for Christmas.

So many who are part of "Chairity Lift" say they have fond memories of riding these at The Canyons; now, some will take a piece of history home with them.

The auction part of "Chairity Lift" runs through Dec. 15. The Kimball Art Center auction takes place Dec. 17 at the Canyons Resort Grand at 4000 Canyons Resort Dr. in Park City. The event will be hosted by actor Scott Wolf and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance and $75 the week of the event. The event will have food and live music. To purchase tickets, go to www.kimballartcenter.org or call 435-649-8882.

e-mail: cmikita@desnews.com