What do skateboards, graffiti art, and painted pianos have in common? For Fort Collins artist Evan Scott, they are all about community and belonging. “The community of skateboarders I found myself a part of in my youth kept me out of more trouble than it got me into it,” Scott said. “Being a person of color on a skateboard was sometimes out of the norm for those viewing from the outside, but it always felt normal to me inside. When I surveyed the landscape and saw other skaters of color, my sense of belonging was reinforced.”
Scott is painting a piano with a skateboard theme through Pianos About Town, a program that brings local art and spontaneous music to the streets of Fort Collins, Colorado.
“Fort Collins opened its doors to me almost 20 years ago and instantly felt like the home I’d been searching for,” Scott said. “Skateboarding paved a path for me that continues to shape my attitudes to this day. I would like to honor the communities that embraced me. Both helped teach me that everyone’s normal is different, but we all have something in common.” His work on the piano is intended to give back to his communities.
For his piano design, Scott uses a graffiti style. “The abstract hodgepodge of gesture drawings is a homage to those that inspired and reminded me to continue on road less traveled,” he said. This piano will be painted using acrylic paint and will feature a tie dye rainbow background. Scott is influenced by the cartoonish freedom of skateboard graphics as well as the bold lines and brilliant colors of graffiti. He has used this style to complete projects ranging from murals to skateboard decks.
Scott will be painting at the Art in Action tent on the south side of Fort Collins’ Old Town Square until Sunday, Sept. 25. The piano will then be moved to Jazz Alley for two weeks before it is rotated around town.
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.