Fund-raising events have become part of everyday life, but this one is different.

Every year, Artstart — a program that employs young apprentice artists in Sonoma County to create benches, murals and other public art — holds its Party for Art to raise money for the stipends the apprentices get.

For the event, a dozen artists create elaborately decorated chairs for the party’s auction.

“We get professional artists to do chairs and donate them, and we also have our Artstart apprentices, who are teens, create chairs,” said Cathy Kaufman, executive director of Artstart.

The evening also includes a live painting demonstration, music and catered food, as well as both live and silent auctions.

The Party for Art starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the Bennett Valley Senior Center, 704 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Tickets cost $40. Information:, (707) 546-2345.

If you want a sneak preview, wander by the windows of the former Sawyer News store on Fourth Street in downtown Santa Rosa, where sample chairs — including one by popular and whimsical local artist Monty Lee Monty — are on display.

But wait, we’re not done with this chair idea just yet. Press Democrat feature writer Meg McConahey wants to hear from you if you have one of the Artstart chairs in your home, or if you’ve decorated own chairs in creative ways. Email information and pictures to her at by July 20.