My Phantom of the Opera chair goes for “chair-ity”- The Orpheum’s Annual Auction

Hey, gang- sorry for the lack of posts lately. Have been super busy between day job (overtime bigtime), home improvements (new floors and remodeled Batcave and Fangirl room), side art projects (see this post and future sketchcard ones), going out of town (see future Have Geek Will Travel posts) and some health issues (nothing serious- getting better!). Hoping to catch up on updating my sites over the holidays.


Earlier this month was the Orpheum Theatre’s 36th Annual Auction which benefits their new Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts & Education building being constructed next door to the historic theater.


My wife Nicki and I attended that Saturday night with her mother Estelle and our friends Tim and Traci Brown. Had a blast and ended up at The Flying Saucer afterwards for drinks and pretzels.

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This year I painted another canvas chair for the auction- the Broadway version of “The Phantom of the Opera“. This was the fifth chair I’ve airbrushed for the Orpheum Theatre and was back stage in the silent auction (you can see my Frank paintings in the background in the left photo). Hard to tell in the photos, but I used Createx airbrush pearl colors which make it shine and sparkle a bit. Used some on my “Wicked” chair last year as well.

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There were two other chairs up for auction- this Marx Brothers was done by local Memphis artist Michael P. Maness and in the silent auction up in the front lobby near the main stair case.


The other- “Frozen” by Jeffrey W. Cannon, was featured center stage and led off this year’s live auction.

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The auction for this came with four orchestra tickets to Disney In Concert: Magical Music From The Movies. The chair was glittery and sparkled, too!

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As always there were lots of great items in the live and silent auction. Nicki won a Mississippi Riverkings hockey package which included tickets an autographed stick and puck.


In addition to painting the chair, I also donated a couple airbrushed paintings. Had two left over from my Frankenstein art show last year at Theatre Memphis.

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Not sure how much each painting and my chair raised, but did get a kick out of seeing folks bid on them- and I found out my friend Brad got the Bela/Frank painting last week for his birthday. Last year my “Wicked” chair raised $2300.00! Not sure what I want to paint for next year. Maybe a Grizzlies, a Memphis touristy theme, or another musical/show…going to have to think on it.

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This is what the chair looked like when it was delivered to me from by the Orpheum. I started off sketching the image in pencil.

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I used a projector to get the image cropped/sized to the chair and get an outline done.

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After that, I used some red, brown, and purple to get the shapes and details worked out.

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The curved surface of the chair makes it a bit tricky, but I really dig painting on these.


For the logo, I cut out a stencil and sprayed it with a metallic gold.

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Finished it by spraying some metallic gold, red, and purple lightly over the chair. Then I heat set the paint with an iron and sprayed it with some Scotch-guard.

Some of my previous chairs- “Phantom of the Opera” (silent film starring Lon Chaney, Sr.) in the silent auction 2006

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“Memphis: The Musical” in the live auction 2011

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“GO, TIGERS, GO!” (U of M Tigers)  in the live auction 2012

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“Wicked” in the live auction 2013.
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I’ve also donated a few other paintings over the years- like this 4’x4′ Bela Lugosi “Dracula” and 2’x3′ Vincent Price “Monsterpiece” portraits.

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Nicki and I got to catch the last performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” last month at the Orpheum. Really enjoyed it- the sets, costumes, and lighting were amazing, the shadow backstory/flashback was awesome, and the music- hey, it’s The Phantom! Picked up a program and a collectors mask at the show.


We always have a great time at the Orpheum, and look forward to coming back again and again. Can’t wait for the new Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts & Education building to open!

If you haven’t been to the Orpheum Theatre, I highly recommend checking it out. Gorgeous interiors, cool organ, great plays and musicals, and I really love their Summer Movie Series. Lots to do downtown before and after visiting the Orpheum as well- it’s right off Beale Street on Front Street and near Riverside Drive and the Mississippi River.




The Orpheum Theatre

The theatre presents a variety of events from Broadway shows and concerts to films. A $4.7 million renovation in the 1980s included refurbishing of ornamental plasterwork, crystal chandeliers and original furnishings plus remodeling of backstage and technical areas. Vaudeville at the Orpheum was successful for almost two decades, and was a Malco movie theater (which had Watson Davis/SIVAD as an employee). It seats 2,400. Wikipedia

203 S Main St

Memphis, TN 38103

(901) 525-3000

My Phantom of the Opera chair goes for “chair-ity”- The Orpheum’s Annual Auction

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