Painting a piano is personal for Fort Collins artist and teacher Natalia Popham. Natalia is painting a piano through Pianos About Town, a program that brings local art and spontaneous music to the streets of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Taking inspiration from Greek pottery, the main features of Natalia’s design follow the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice; a tragedy centered around fateful love.
But if you look closer, Natalia’s design also seeks to honor and celebrate the Deaf community. Using black paint against a bright yellow background, viewers will see finger-spelled letters in American Sign Language spelling Orpheus and Eurydice. Natalia is a person who is deaf and uses a cochlear implant.
“[I] have had the experience of people telling me I couldn’t possibly understand music,” said Natalia. “Although it is harder for me to access, music has played a significant role in my life, and I want to honor the Deaf community and communicate that they also have an important role to play in our community and in music itself.”
Look for Natalia’s bright yellow and black piano as it travels to various surprise locations across Fort Collins.
Pianos About Town
Pianos About Town is a collaboration among Bohemian Foundation, the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places, and the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority. Community members watch as local artists transform donated pianos into public art. Placed across 20 locations across town in the summer, and six locations in the winter, the completed pianos offer surprise interruptions of color and music across Fort Collins.