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Belfast bench bidding currently underway

August 27, 2013
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Belfast bench bidding currently underway Belfast bench bidding currently underway

'Please, Be Seated' benches up for auction

BELFAST - Finding a seat in downtown Belfast to enjoy an ice cream cone or take a break from shopping just got a whole lot easier thanks to some colorful and unique benches that have popped up in the area. Local artists have created the one-of-a-kind benches to be auctioned off for the Please, Be Seated bench program, an event that helps the Our Town Belfast organization promote economic development within the city's commercial district.

"Visitors are constantly asking if the seats are for sale because they have such appeal," said Elaine Bielenberg, project curator. 

Locals and visitors alike will be pleased to know they are. In fact, some of the proceeds from the sale of each bench will actually fund next year's artists and projects. Organizers agree the project does attract quite a crowd.

"These seats are the site of many a photo-op and create a kind of annual scavenger hunt, where people try to find all of the 35 seats located downtown," explained Breanna Pinkham Bebb, Our Town Belfast executive director. "We don't auction off all of them because we want to keep some of them from year to year."

Ten of the 35 benches set up along the sidewalk from the Belfast post office to the waterfront are currently for sale, and each one is completely different.

"We have two benches built by Ron Cowan," said Bebb. "He's really a well-known artist in the area. He did benches with faces carved into a tree trunk. Those benches have the highest value." 

Cowan's artistic touch can be seen all over Belfast. He is famous for sculpting faces out of old barn beams, stumps and logs, which he proudly displays in public areas like the city's harbor.

"We don't have a set goal we're looking to raise, we just want to find a good home for the benches for at least the minimum bid," said Bebb.

Those interested in checking out the benches being auctioned off this year can log on to to place their bid. The auction ends Sept. 13.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 22:40

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