— Michael Loyd (MoZ) (@michaelloyd) July 17, 2014
Inspired, perhaps, by the great Rancho Bravo piano installation of 2011, a new campaign has placed two pianos on surprising Capitol Hill stages. Thanks to Pianos in the Parks, you’ll find “artistically enhanced” uprights ready for the playing inside Cal Anderson and Volunteer Park:
Pianos in the Parks features 20 artistically enhanced pianos created by Gage Academy of Art faculty, students and friends, each placed in one of 15 iconic Seattle city parks and open spaces, such as Alki Park, Cal Anderson Park, and Seattle Center, and five King County Parks locations, including Marymoor Park and the Sammamish River Trail.
The project is designed to encourage “Puget Sound residents to discover 32,000+ acres of City of Seattle and King County parks and open spaces through the power of music and art,” a statement on the month-long effort reads.
It also comes as Seattle prepares to vote on a Seattle tax district to pay for the city’s parks and community centers. The project is underwritten by Laird Norton Wealth Management, according to a statement on the campaign.
While the painted pianos are intended to look nice, they’re also — at least for now — in tune:
Each piano, procured and tuned by Classic Pianos, is available for the public to play. Musicians of every level are encouraged to enter the Pianos in the Parks Facebook contest at: https://www.facebook.com/pianosintheparks, in which they can upload a video of their performance of an original piece or music from the public domain for a chance to play at Concerts at the Mural presented by KEXP and Seattle Center on Friday, August 22. Entries will be voted on by Facebook “likes” with the top five most heavily “liked” videos being judged by a community panel.
Capitol Hill’s Gage Academy lead the way in decorating the pianos. How Seattle Parks intends to keep people from, um, adding additional works of art to the pianos is not entirely clear. The pianos will offered for auction at the end of the project. Proceeds from the sales will benefit Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage. You can learn more — and make a bid — at pianosintheparks.com.