A new placement for popular piano project
September 20, 2013
When Mark Maziarz, along with Alison Butz, established Art Pianos for All, an art project where decorated pianos are placed in accessible areas to be played and enjoyed by the public, he had no idea how popular the instruments would be.
So far, Maziarz has placed pianos at the Kimball Art Center, the Silver Star plaza, the Park City transit center, the South Summit Aquatic and Fitness Center in Kamas, the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts and the newest location, at Park City Coffee Roasters at Redstone.
"We originally wanted to place two pianos, but now have six," Maziarz told The Park Record. "That makes me kind of proud of what has been happening."
Although Butz is no longer involved in the project, Maziarz has taken it upon himself to carry on.
"What keeps me doing this is some of the people who play are seasonal workers from another county who have played at home," he said. "They play our pianos every day or every week and use them as practice instruments."
The latest piano to be refinished is the one at Redstone, and the artist whom Maziarz selected for the job is 15-year-old Sydney Datzman, a sophomore at Park City High School.
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"Sydney found us through Facebook and talked about the project for a good six months or so," Maziarz said. "I was a little leery about having her do a piano, because art is only a hobby for her and she hasn’t done anything professionally on a large scale.
"But I was drawn to her sample that she sent over," he said. "I asked her to paint a large scale concept on a piece of plywood and it looked great."
Datzman said she was delighted Maziarz gave her the green light.
"I was surprised that he selected me to do this, because I’m only 15 and there are a bunch of really good artists up here in Park City," she said. "But I figured the worst that could happen was he would say no."
Datzman’s design is centered around poppies.
"I chose poppies because they are my favorite flowers and we have them in our front yard," she said. "I like poppies because of their colors and because they bloom very fast."
The artist decided on a flower motif because of the abundance of wildflowers in the area.
"I felt the art needed to represent Park City," she said.
Datzman reached out to Maziarz after she saw one of the finished pianos while walking on Main Street.
"The first one I saw has a hummingbird on it," she said. "I thought it was so cool and I took a picture of it."
Datzman likes the idea of combining visual art with music.
"I’m excited that the painting on the piano will also be a way for people to get interactive with art both physically and visually," she said. "They can play the piano and see the art.
"I like that aspect, because I’m also a musician," Datzman said. "I play bass guitar, bassoon and flute, so this all goes together for me."
The artist will begin sanding down the piano this weekend and then hopefully start painting on Sunday.
"I was supposed to start two weeks ago, but the weather was bad, and I have to do most of the work on the weekends because I’m in school," she said.
Marziarz said he is grateful for the people who have donated the pianos.
"I get a call at least once a month and am amazed at the pianos these people are willing to give up," he said. "I mean the one at the Eccles is a nice Yamaha grand piano, which, by the way, hasn’t been painted."
He is also taken aback at how many people have embraced the Art Pianos for All concept.
"There are some people who use the pianos for practicing," he said. "They play the same piano every day or every week at the same time and it has become a routine for them."
Earlier this year, after the piano at the Kimball Art Center had to be relocated for the Sundance Film Festival, Maziarz received an urgent email from one of these pianists.
"He wanted to know where the piano was, and he wrote, ‘That piano is like a good friend to me,’" Maziarz said. "I never thought about that. I just thought people would noodle around, but some of these people have made it a part of their lives."
For more information about Art Pianos for All, visit http://www.facebook.com/artpianosforall.