As part of the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration, student-artists from Berea College handcrafted 120 new chairs for the Governor’s Mansion. Each “County Seats Legacy Project” chair represents a Kentucky county, and is being funded by private donations from every county.
The chairs or “seats” that the Mansion formerly used for large-scale events were in poor condition, unsafe for guests and in desperate need of replacement. Because of tightening budgets, Mansion caretakers delayed replacing the chairs until it was absolutely necessary to do so.
To solve the seating dilemma, Kentucky Executive Mansion Foundation Inc. (KEMFI) administrators invited each of Kentucky’s 120 counties be a part of the “County Seats Legacy Project” by sponsoring one of the handcrafted seats. Each county privately raised $1,000 for the project, and each chair has a name plaque of a Kentucky county placed on it.
KEMFI contracted with Berea College to have their student-artists design, build and upholster each chair. Every chair frame was handcrafted only using locally-sourced and sustainable maple wood from Daniel Boone National Forest.
“We are so fortunate to have the unbelievably talented student-artists at Berea working on this legacy project. I cannot think of a better pairing than to have Kentucky artists craft furniture for our state’s executive residence. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime, entirely Kentucky project.” – Gov. Steve Beshear
“Individuals, businesses and local organizations from all of our Kentucky counties stepped up to the plate for this project. On behalf of KEMFI and all Kentuckians, I want to thank each donor for his or her generous contribution. Thanks to this legacy project, each Kentucky county will be represented at the Mansion for many years to come.” – First Lady Jane Beshear