Pianos About Town, a program that brings local art and spontaneous music to the streets of Fort Collins, today announced the artists selected to paint pianos in 2019.
Local artists selected to paint pianos in 2019 are: Natalie Selden Barnes, Chelsea Ermer, Elisa Gomez, Wildrose Hamilton, Amy Heyse, Carly Knowles, Mike McPuff (McClure), Joe Motive (Myers), Lynn Rizzotto, Werner Schreiber, Larry Tucci and Kristen Vohs.
“We’re excited to watch alongside the community as this year’s artists paint scenes both familiar and fantastical under the tent in Old Town Square,” said Ellen Martin, visual arts administrator for the City of Fort Collins. “Whether it’s music-playing aliens or a colorful rendering of Horsetooth Mountain, each piano will be an adventure to those who see and play it.”
Outdoor summer painting will take place May through October underneath the Art in Action tent on the south side of Fort Collins’ Old Town Square.
About Pianos About Town
Pianos About Town brings local art and spontaneous music to the streets of Fort Collins. Pianos About Town started in 2010 as a collaboration among Bohemian Foundation, the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program and the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority. Community members watch as local artists transform donated pianos into public art. In 2018, the program celebrated its 100th painted piano.
Scattered among 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. The whimsical pianos beckon to passersby and invite them to make and listen to music together.
New Artist Profile: Natalie Selden Barnes, “Carousel Magic”
First-time artist with the Pianos About Town program is Natalie Selden Barnes, who has been an art educator for more than 20 years. Barnes is currently a teacher and adviser in the Department of Art and Art History at Colorado State University. She was a founding board member of Artistic Abilities, a local nonprofit with the mission of providing access to the arts for artists with disabilities.
Barnes will paint “Carousel Magic,” a concept that comes from the artist’s life-long love of carousels. “One of my earliest happy memories is of riding a merry-go-round,” said Barnes in her artist statement. “The feeling of freedom and pure joy. Reaching out to try and snatch the brass ring and running through the animals to find my favorite ride. Even today, in my sixties, I’ll always jump at the chance for fun on a carousel. I’ve tried with this design to capture the feeling of riding one.”
Returning Artist Profile: Amy Heyse, “How to Fold a Paper Crane”
Returning artist Amy Heyse will paint her third piano in 2019. Heyse is a Fort Collins artist and resident who currently works as lead artist and artist trainer at Pinot’s Palette in Old Town.
Heyse will paint “How to Fold a Paper Crane,” a concept that shows step-by-step instructions on how to fold a paper crane, using colors and design elements inspired by Japanese origami paper. In describing the inspiration for her piece, Heyse said, “Growing up, I loved learning how to do origami from my mom. For most people, origami is synonymous with paper cranes. A person who folds a thousand paper cranes is said to have a wish of theirs granted. They’re also a symbol of hope and healing.”
“My goal is to create a striking piano that is not only beautiful and enticing to play musically, but also instructs any passersby on how to create a small work of art on their own.”