From September 27 through October 14, 2013, seventy-five pianos decorated by artists were placed around Boston, MA for the public to play as part of the world wide art installation "Play Me, I'm Yours". The festival was hosted by Celebrity Series of Boston as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations.
I submitted a proposal in response to an Open Call to decorate a piano to be displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as part of the series “Play Me, I’m Your: Street Pianos Boston”. A committee of Managers, Curators, and the Chair of the Contemporary Art Department selected my proposal for the piano, titled “Work in Progress.” The concept was based on transforming a black baby grand piano into a faux artist studio and workstation to be used by the public for a three week duration at the entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts. I submitted proposal, created digital rendering, outlined budget, planned schedule, restored and refinished piano, constructed attachments, implemented revisions, and installed the project.
To make the piano look like an outdoor artist studio, I refinished a black baby grand piano with acrylic paint to create a faux wood grain finish. The easel was built from wood and faux finished the same way with acrylic paint. The painting was created with mixed media, glitter, and acrylic paint on canvas. Fake art supplies were placed on top of the piano and were are created using plaster and acrylic paint, which were made from latex molds during the process.
“Why is there a piano outside our entrance? It is one of 75 located throughout metropolitan Boston as part of a public art project by Luke Jerram called Play Me, I’m Yours!
Jerram’s intention is for you to listen, play, and enjoy the pianos that are part of the project. “The sound of pianos can affect the atmosphere of the street and transform architecture and how people occupy a space,” he has said. The piano located here is available for you to play between September 27 and October 14 during MFA open hours.
To date 35 cities have hosted Play Me, I’m Yours! The project is presented in Boston by the Celebrity Series of Boston to celebrate its 75th anniversary. All 75 pianos were donated, and each has been decorated by artists or community groups. Hilary Zelson, a Museum Educator and MFA Community Arts Initiative Liaison, was selected to decorate the piano located outside the Museum."
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
My objective of “Work in Progress” was to transform a traditional black Baby Grand Piano into a replica artist studio, complete with an enlarged artist’s easel, table, tools, and painting supplies, along with a partially finished painting. This idea occurred to me while trying to create a theme that would relate both to the MFA and to my personal artistic efforts and creative space as well as a unique way to link the creation of musical art and fine art.
When on display, the piano remained a “Work in Progress” not only due to the incomplete painting, but also because it drew people in to play their own music, and as each person played, the piece continued to grow and change with each new contribution.
"Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an arts project by artist Luke Jerram. Over 1000 street pianos have been installed in 37 cities across the globe, bearing the simple invitation to Play Me, I’m Yours! The project has already reached more than four million people worldwide.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary season, Celebrity Series of Boston presented Play Me, I’m Yours from September 27 – October 14 2013. Located in public spaces in Boston and Cambridge, 75 pianos decorated by local artists were available for anyone to play and enjoy."
Why is there a piano outside our entrance?
It’s one of 75 located throughout Boston as part of a public art project called “Play Me, I’m Yours!” Museum educator Hilary Zelson painted the MFA piano and shared some photo of the piano's transformation with us here.
Why is there a piano outside our entrance?
It’s one of 75 located throughout Boston as part of a public art project called “Play Me, I’m Yours!” Students from Boston University, the New England Conservatory, and Hilary Zelson, a Museum Educator and MFA Community Arts Initiative Liaison who painted the MFA piano were the first to play this afternoon.