A man who sells chairs also turns them into 20 ft. tall sculptures

It all started 27 years ago when the artist stumbled into a chair factory....

NEXT WITH KYLE CLARK - It was 1990. Steve Farland was broke with a family to feed.

With no prospective job, he stumbled into a factory on 48th and Colorado Boulevard in Denver. 

The name in the front read "Shafer," and in the lobby sat owner David Shafer. 

"I asked him what he did. He said, 'We make chairs,'" Farland said. Farland remembers taking a look around the warehouse and asking if he could buy some. The encounter eventually led him to start his own furniture store.

"The Chairman was born," says Farland, whose store has been the exclusive outlet for Shafer-made chairs for the last 27 years.

Just three years ago, Farland's passion for chairs became something more. Farland started a side project in the Shafer warehouse, and with chairs given to him by the Shafer family, he has been building sculptures with artist Brian Sartor. They call their project "Victory."

"What they represent is a vision of healing for a broken world showing that all the part no matter how different we are, can go together and make for a better and more peaceful world we want to live in," Farland said. 

The sculptures are made completely out of chair parts and they range from 16 to 26-feet-tall.

"I look at my own dining chairs differently," artist Sartor said. "My wife says to leave it alone." 

The duo spends four to five months to make each sculpture. And it might evoke a simple question...why?

"Why build anything really," Sartor said. "I guess it's art. You build it because you have to. You're supposed to."

This weekend, after 82 years of you putting your seats in their seats, the Shafer warehouse is closing due to labor shortages and the rising cost of doing business in Denver. In its years in business, Shafer had made chairs for Carnival Cruise line, hotels, the Bronco's stadium and  restaurants across Colorado like Racine's and The Delectable Egg in Denver.

Until Nov. 4, Shafer Manufacturing Company, located at 4101 East 48th Avenue, will sell their last batch of chairs, barstools, and tables - about 2,000 pieces worth. 

The sculptures will not be taken apart and sold, like the rest of the lot. Instead, they'll be exhibited at the Arvada Center from January 18 to March 31 of next year.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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