While in Impressions earlier this month, Jan Wade, events coordinator for the Downtown BIA, was asking Chris Sand if he knew anyone who might want to paint the new community piano, and in walked Mike Davies, local artist. “Just as I’m saying this I heard somebody come into the store and this voice behind me goes ‘I’ll paint your piano,’” she said. “We were thrilled.”
Wade discovered the idea of a street piano from her favourite TV show in 2011. After some encouragement from Heather Gordon-Murphy, who had seen street pianos on her travels in Austin, Texas, Wade pitched the idea to the Downtown BIA board.
Upon approval she bought the very first street piano from the Restore for $75.
The second street piano was donated, but ended up being difficult to move around. At one point, Wade and a man were moving the piano from the Community Centre to RBC and it fell over. It took the help of two others to get it upright again. It has mostly been in storage at the Community Centre since then.
“People are phoning and asking where the pianos are, so we would like to have them out,” Wade said. “But we need to find people who are willing to have them at their businesses and put them in and out.”
This year a piano was donated to the BIA. It is a Yamaha and one of the smallest pianos you can get.
Davies said he’ll be using his typical painting style – bright, vibrant colours placed with high-energy brush and knife strokes.
“I’ll be trying to reflect my love of music and what it means to me – I’m painting a piano, so I think that’s fitting – but there will also likely be abstracted landscape elements,” he said.
Davies is painting the piano in Spirit Square this Saturday as part of River City Arts Fest.
To view Davies’ work, visit his Facebook page, “Conversations in Colour.”
If you would like to have either of the pianos outside your business or at a function, call or email Wade at 250-287-8642 or firstname.lastname@example.org