The BLVD Piano

The City of Lancaster has a created a  public art/music program that is modeled after similar programs in various cities around the U.S., including Denver and New York. There is even one in Birmingham, UK.  Pianos are decorated by artists and then placed in public locations where anyone who wishes may play them.

The City has started with two pianos, gave one to the Graphic Experience and one to the Artist’s Lofts . We, at the Graphic Experience rounded up a total of thirteen artists who contributed their talents to this exciting project. On Dec. 15,2010, a press conference was held here, for the unveiling of the two great “art pianos”. It was well attended and created a lot of excitement, had quite a bit of press coverage.

As a result, we have had  piano players coming by to tickle the keys ! We have had some GREAT musicians entertaining us with great tunes. Just before I sat down to write this, another player just finished  playing a set that lasted for over an hour. He turned out to be a man whom I knew that I hadn’t seen in years ! He came in just to play.  Another young man came in several days in a row and stayed for hours each day.  At several points, since  the unveiling, we had three piano players, each waiting their turn. At some points, we’ve had two players playing together on the piano. That’s always awesome !  Another professional keyboard player brought his daughter in and they played together and separately. We have had “non-piano-playing” customers that are so happy just to see the wonderful artwork on the piano. This piano has already started to develop it’s own fan club, renew old acquaintances,  and create new friendships.

It has been a truly fascinating experience. Many thanks to the City of Lancaster for supporting the arts!

– Chris Calaba co-owner of Graphic Experience