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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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A dash of music and a splash of art

Artist Alison Dickson works diligently on “Dancing Aspens,” a new piano to be  placed in the rotating pianos around Fort Collins. Photo by Anne-Marie Kottenstette
Artist Alison Dickson works diligently on “Dancing Aspens,” a new piano to be
placed in the rotating pianos around Fort Collins. Photo by Anne-Marie Kottenstette

Local Artist Laurie Beth Zuckerman sat curled over a paint brush delicately adding detail to her zebra and smiled at those who commented on her work. Spending the last few weeks laboring over the piano and bringing it life, she happily discussed her work with anyone willing to stop and talk.

Everyone has seen the brightly painted designs around Old Town and even around campus. The pianos that populate our town are widely regarded as a unique beauty to Fort Collins.

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Supported by the Bohemian Foundation and the Art in Public Places Program, the pianos have become a highly regarded job and competition for local artists.

“You have to have an idea in mind. It’s tough competition,” Zuckerman said, pausing to smile as passerby ogled at the beautiful work of art she was finishing up.

Although the artists are paid, most of the payoff comes from knowing that the residents of Fort Collins, who are regularly seen playing the pianos in the sunshine, are enjoying and interacting with the art.

“I think it’s great how they take everyday objects and turn them into – that,” said CSU sophomore mechanical engineering student, David Michel.

When asked if he’d ever played one, he laughed.

“I’m not an instrument person, but I think they’re cool,” Michel said. He explained that the idea behind them was amazing and he would always appreciate the art, but would leave the music to the musically talented.

The project originated from British artist, Luke Jerram, who was famous for his pianos in major cities across America and the United Kingdom. When the Bohemian Foundation came to the City of Fort Collins with the idea, they were thrilled. The idea of the pianos has blossomed into an organization that has continued to let people enjoy the artistry and the beauty behind a simple piano.

Through the wind and rain of unpredictable Colorado weather, the pianos have endured to put a little more art back in the world and a little more music back into the lives of the residents in our amazing city.

College Avenue reporter Kelsey Shroyer can be reached at collegeavenue@collegian.com

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