Public piano project plays on
Art Pianos for All, an interactive public art program that restores old pianos and places them in accessible areas throughout Summit County to be played by the general public, seeks piano donations and artist proposals for two upcoming installations.
“Summit County Public Art Advisory Board has some new plans for this summer and they want to place pianos at the new South Summit Services building in Kamas, and in one of the new buildings at the Summit County Fairgrounds,” said Mark Maziarz, the founder and facilitator of Art Pianos for All.
Maziarz is working with Jocelyn Scudder, administrator for the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board on these projects.
“This will be a great way to highlight and celebrate the new buildings on the eastern side of the county through art,” Scudder said.
Maziarz seeks full-sized, upright pianos for the projects.
“I’ve found in my experience that the larger pianos hold their tune longer, especially when they are exposed to the elements,” he said. “These pianos also give the artists a bigger canvas to use.”
The artist proposals are due June 30, and the selections will be made shortly thereafter, according to Maziarz.
“We like to see creativity, so I would say there are no limits to the medium,” he said. “The last piano (artist Kylie Millward) did at the Kimball Junction Transit Center … had a sculptural element to it.”
Maziarz asks only that the art be strong enough to withstand summer heat and winter chill, as well as standing up to frequent playing and not interfering with the pianos’ tuning.
Artists will receive a stipend for their work.
“Our budget this year is bigger than in the past,” Maziarz said. “We used to pay the artists $650, and now we can pay them $1,000.”
Artists can find proposal applications at facebook.com/artpianosforall.
Art Pianos for All was born during a Park City Leadership City tour to Fort Collins, Colorado, during the fall of 2011.
Alison Kuhlow, who was then the executive director of Historic Park City Alliance, was on the trip as well, Maziarz said.
“We both loved the idea the pianos being accessible to anyone who wants to play, and thought it would be a cool thing to do in Park City,” Maziarz said. “So early the next year, we put the plans together.”
Maziarz, who now helms the project alone, works with the Park City and Summit County Public Art advisory boards to place the pianos. (See accompanying list)
“There are some people who play the same piano every day or every week at the same time,” he said. “Some of the musicians use these pianos for practicing. Playing the piano has become routine for them.”
The all-female a cappella choir has scheduled a string of performances in preparation for its Spring Sing.