2001 Chairs on Parade
Charlotte, N.C.  

Chairs on  Parade

when the expedition was completed by having the flower named after her (strelitzia reginae).

Laura’s chair is painted in Golden acrylic with additions of plywood silhouettes to resemble the bird of paradise flower. Queen Charlotte’s portrait, inspired by the portrait of Queen Charlotte displayed at the Mint Museum of Art is featured at the top of the chair, crowned with flowers. The front of the chair not only reminds us of the beautiful bird of paradise flower, but it also encourages us to remember the cultural discovery that England’s royal fortune gave to all of us living in the Charlotte / Mecklenburg region.  The back of the chair, equipped with both adult and child size mirrors that fame the viewers’ heads with the featured flower, reflects “Empowered Citizens.” These mirrors celebrate the viewer, reflecting the viewer’s special opportunities.

Watson Insurance Agency of Gastonia sponsored Laura’s chair for the exhibit. After the chairs have been on display for six months, the insurance agency will have the option to keep the chair or donate it to be auctioned off for charity.

(The chair was later auctioned, and purchased by Jeff Koenig, collector and lawyer)

Reprinted from Charlotte Wellesley Alumnae Club website, 2001

Alumnae Spotlight:
Artist Laura Grosch

You may have noticed the large chairs on display all over the Greater Charlotte area.

"Birds of Paradise: Queen Charlotte" by Laura Grosch
Birds of Paradise: Queen Charlotte by Laura Grosch

These chairs are part of an art exhibit “Chairs on Parade,” sponsored by the Tryon Center for Visual Arts (now the McColl Center for Visual Art). There are 124 chairs on display, all designed and created by artists who were selected from a large group of applicants who submitted proposals to participate in the exhibit.

Laura Grosch, Wellesley alumna ’67 and local artist, was one of the artists selected to design and create a piece for the exhibit. Laura’s piece, entitled “Birds of Paradise: Queen Charlotte” (pictured) is on display outside of La Vecchia’s restaurant on 6th Street in downtown Charlotte.

Laura’s inspiration for the chair stemmed from her interest in Charlotte’s rich history. Queen Charlotte and her husband, King George III of England, sponsored a plant exploration expedition. During this expedition, the bird of paradise flower was discovered. Queen Charlotte, originally from Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany, was honored

Artist Laura Grosch, with her "Birds of Paradise: Queen Charlotte" in progress.
Laura Grosch and chair