At first, Suzanne and Erik thought the chair backs attached to tree stumps on Blackstone Boulevard must have been the work of a conservancy-type organization. The boulevard’s broad, shaded medial strip for walkers, runners, and baby carriages is always well maintained and welcoming.
But it turns out that a “guerrilla good deed campaign” is behind the tree-stump art. Erin Swanson, of Providence’s East Side Monthly, tracked down a vigilante known as Johnny Chair Seed.
“Last summer,” Swanson writes, “a few friends were having themselves a little stroll down Power Street when they stumbled upon a broken chair, discarded on the sidewalk. A few footsteps further, they happened upon a tree stump. ‘It started as just a random idea. We figured someone got drunk and broke the chair,’ says the anonymous mastermind behind the array of stump chairs now scattered throughout the East Side. ‘I hear people have started calling me Johnny Chair Seed,’ he says with a devilish smile. ‘I kind of like it.’
“With the help of two friends (two of the ‘select few’ who know his true identity), Johnny has constructed a total of ten stump chairs including those on Hope, Rochambeau, Blackstone, Elmgrove and Larch, among others.” The full article is here.
Makes me want to do a stealth project again. It’s been too long. I have something in mind involving poetry. Stay tuned.
Photograph: East Side Monthly