Pianos About Town Program Seeks New and Diverse Artists

Artist Ren Burke paints a piano in Old Town Fort Collins. The Pianos About Town program is now accepting applications.

Pianos About Town, an interactive public art program in Fort Collins, recently announced that it is seeking artists or artist teams to paint or artistically decorate pianos in 2023.

The program is looking for diversity in artwork styles and concepts, with a preference for emerging artists and new and exciting ideas. Selected artists will receive an honorarium of $1,000. To apply, artists must submit a letter of intent and concept rendering. The 2023 application deadline is February 28 before 4 pm MST. A City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places committee selects artists each year. For further information and to apply, visit fcgov.com/art-calls.

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The program will offer two virtual sessions to provide resources for potential applicants. During the first session, potential applicants will hear a presentation about the application process and will have opportunities to ask questions. The second set of virtual sessions is one-on-one meetings during which program staff will work with artists to review their applications and answer questions. Neither session is required to apply.

Virtual Presentation and Q&A

February 8, 6:30-7:30 pm

More at: fcgov.com/pianos

This virtual session will include a presentation at 6:30 pm about the application and review process. Program staff will be available to answer questions at the end of the session.

One-On-One Meetings with Program Staff 

February 22, 2-6:30 pm, by appointment

More at: fcgov.com/pianos

Staff will be available to meet with applicants one-on-one for up to 30 minutes to review applications and make application recommendations. Staff will also be available to provide general information for applicants who could not attend the first information session.

About Pianos About Town 

Pianos About Town is a public art initiative that provides paid work to local visual artists, allows the public to observe these artists’ work in real-time, showcases artists’ work throughout town, and brings opportunities for spontaneous musical expression to the streets of Fort Collins.

The original inspiration for Pianos About Town comes from British artist Luke Jerram, who created a 60-piano installation that toured the world, stopping in New York City in June 2010. Pianos About Town also was inspired by a similar project on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. The first pianos were placed in Downtown Fort Collins in 2010.

Pianos come from donations from community members looking for a new home for their used instruments. Pianos are picked up, free of charge, from their previous homes and brought to a storage area where they are cleaned, tuned, prepped for painting, and readied for the outside elements. After that, the painting begins. Each selected local artist spends approximately two weeks painting their piano in downtown Fort Collins, outdoors in a public location when weather permits. Once painted, each finished piano enters into rotation at Pianos About Town locations throughout Fort Collins. Area businesses play a crucial role in the project’s success by “adopting” the painted pianos and covering them during inclement weather.

Pianos About Town is a collaboration among the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program, the Downtown Development Authority and Bohemian Foundation.

Follow Pianos About Town on FacebookInstagram, and new this year, TikTok.