Q&A: Applying to Paint a Piano
- Pianos About Town Program Seeks Artists to Paint Pianos
- | Bohemian Staff
What is Pianos About Town?
Pianos About Town is an interactive public art program in Fort Collins, Colorado. Community members watch as local artists transform donated pianos into public art. The program is seeking artists or artist teams to paint or artistically decorate pianos in 2023.
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. Pianos About Town is a collaboration among the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places, the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority and Bohemian Foundation.
What can I expect if I paint a piano?
The program is looking for diversity in artwork styles and concepts, with a preference for emerging artists and new and exciting ideas. The program allows both the painting of a traditional mural and other forms of artistic decoration on the piano. The program is looking for artwork that has an active composition with strong value contrast, minimizing large open spaces, reducing the opportunity for graffiti. You can check out past piano designs at fcgov.com/artspublic/gallery.
Artists paint pianos in public spaces. This space is either outside in Old Town Fort Collins, or inside at another determined public location. The project is looking for artists who can interact with the community while they are working on the piano.
The pianos will be in a variety of sizes. The back of the piano will be covered with plywood, providing a solid surface on which to work. The pianos will be sanded in preparation for the artist’s artwork. The artist will need to prime the surface with provided primer. All surfaces of the pianos will need to be painted/decorated.
What is the time commitment of painting a piano?
Artists are given 13 days to complete their piano, which includes weekends. The program is open to working with different types of schedules, and partners with artists to select dates and times that work for them. The summer program runs from May through October. The winter program takes place in November and December.
Is there compensation?
The City of Fort Collins will provide a total honorarium in the amount of $1,000 to cover all applicable expenses, including all fees for consulting with the design team, the design, supplies and execution of all artwork selected.
Can I apply to paint as a team?
This project is open to all artists or artist teams. Teams can include school groups, clubs, organizations, etc. The artist or artist team leader must be at least 18 years of age.
How do I apply? What is the deadline?
To apply, artists or artist teams submit a letter of intent and concept rendering. The 2023 application deadline is Feb. 28 before 4 p.m. MST. A City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places committee selects artists each year. For further information and to apply, visit fcgov.com/art-calls.
Is there anything new about the program this year?
Pianos About Town is now on TikTok! Follow us @pianosabouttown. There is nothing new about the application process.
Where can I find out more?
The program will offer two virtual sessions to provide resources for potential applicants. During the first session, potential applicants will hear a presentation about the application process and will have opportunities to ask questions. The second set of virtual sessions are one-on-one meetings during which program staff will work with artists to review their applications and answer questions. Neither session is required in order to apply.
Virtual Presentation and Q&A
- Feb. 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- More at: fcgov.com/pianos
- This virtual session will include a presentation at 6:30 p.m. about the application and review process. Program staff will be available to answer questions at the end of the session.
One-On-One Meetings with Program Staff
- Feb. 22, 2-6:30 p.m., by appointment
- More at: fcgov.com/pianos
- Staff will be available to meet with applicants one-on-one for up to 30 minutes 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.