Pianos About Town Returns to Old Town Square to Celebrate Sixth Season

FORT COLLINS, Colo., May 9, 2016--On May 10 after months of indoor hibernation, painted pianos will emerge in outdoor locations across Fort Collins as part of the Pianos About Town project, a collaborative effort among Bohemian Foundation, the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program and the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority.

Over the course of the year, local artists will paint 13 pianos donated by community members. The Art in Action tent and summer painting will return to the south side of Fort Collins’ newly-renovated Old Town Square. The public is invited to stop by to watch the work in progress. On May 11, local artist Gail Whitman will be the first to start work on 2016 pianos.

“We’re excited to usher in another season of Pianos About Town,” said Tom Scharf, Bohemian Foundation’s Music Programs director. “The program aims to bring together visual art and music on a public platform. We have wonderful things happening with music and art in Fort Collins. Pianos About Town is just one of many programs that showcase Fort Collins’ active creative communities.”

Since the program’s start in 2010, 40 local artists have been employed to paint 67 pianos.

“Over the past several years of the program we’ve employed a wide range of artists: a high school student, Colorado State University students, as well as professional artists,” said Ellen Martin, Visual Arts Administrator for Art in Public Places. “This season, six of the 13 artists are new to the Pianos About Town program.”

Pianos About Town at a Glance:

Pianos About Town is intended to be a fun, interactive art installation that creates an additional element of whimsy and surprise in Fort Collins. The project is a public art initiative that provides paid work to local visual artists, that gives the public the opportunity to observe these artists work in real time, that showcases the work of these artists throughout town, and that brings opportunities for spontaneous musical expression to the streets of Fort Collins.

The original inspiration for Pianos About Town comes from British artist Luke Jerram, who created a 60-piano installation that toured the world, stopping in New York City in June 2010. Pianos About Town was also inspired by a similar project on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. The first pianos were placed in Downtown Fort Collins during the 2010 holiday season and were an instant hit. This is the sixth season for Pianos About Town.

Pianos are acquired through donations made by community members looking for a new home for their used instruments. Pianos are picked up, free of charge, from their previous homes and brought to a storage area where they are cleaned, tuned, prepped for painting and readied for the outside elements. After that, the painting begins. Selected local artists spend approximately two weeks painting their piano in downtown Fort Collins, outdoors in a public location when weather permits. Once painted, each finished piano enters into rotation at Pianos About Town locations throughout Fort Collins. Area businesses play a key role in the success of the project by “adopting” the painted pianos and covering them during inclement weather.

Please download the full news release PDF to view artist profiles.