Pianos About Town, an interactive public art program in Fort Collins, announced today that it is seeking artists or artist teams to paint or artistically decorate pianos in 2019. The application deadline is 5 p.m. MST on Feb. 11. Pianos About Town started as a collaboration among Bohemian Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, and the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program.
Pianos About Town is a public art initiative that provides paid work to local visual artists, gives the public the opportunity to observe these artists work in real time, showcases the work of artists throughout town, and 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 also was inspired by a similar project on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. The first pianos were placed in Downtown Fort Collins in 2010. This is the ninth 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. Each selected local artist spends 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 the 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.
The program is looking for diversity in artwork styles and concepts, with a preference for emerging artists and new and exciting ideas. Selected artists will receive an honorarium of $1,000. To apply, artists must submit a letter of intent and concept rendering.
Two interactive workshops are available for anyone interested in learning more about the program. At this drop-in session, staff will be available to sit with applicants one-on-one to review applications and make application recommendations. Staff also will be available to provide general information for applicants who were unable to attend the first information session. Information about other artist opportunities offered by the City of Fort Collins will be available.
Session I: Presentation and Q&A
Jan. 10, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Music District, 639 S College Ave, Fort Collins
This session will include a presentation at 6:30 p.m. about the application and review process. Handouts will be provided and program staff will be available to answer questions during the rest of the session.
Session II: Open House and Application Review
Jan. 24, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Carnegie Center for Creativity, 200 Matthews St., Fort Collins
An Art in Public Places committee selects artists each year. For further information and to apply, visit www.fcgov.com/artspublic/current-competitions.