4:56 pm

‘Keys to our Town’ street piano summer campaign

‘Keys to our Town’ street piano summer campaign
A project by the AGN Youth Council
Summer 2019
Location: outside Victoria Hall and in the AGN


The Town of Cobourg invited cultural organizations within Northumberland County to paint and design one of three pianos for the ‘Keys to our Town’ street piano summer campaign. Each summer, donated pianos are painted by local artists and displayed in various locations throughout the downtown and waterfront area and passersby are encouraged to play. The concept was based on the “Play Me, I’m Yours” project by artists Luke Jerram, originating in Sheffield, England. The 2019 theme was What Does Culture Mean to You?

The AGN’s Youth Council worked on two piano’s to answer this question.

Piano Deconstruction (on view at the AGN)
This piano was taken apart piece by piece in the gallery space. The Youth Council then designed and created two sculptures. from the deconstructed instrument. The resulting sculpture used the hammers of the piano, and when placed together resembled a twisted DNA spiral. The skeleton of the piano is remained in place and visitors are encouraged to interact with it by plucking the strings. 

Reinventing Consumption (on view outside Victoria Hall)
This piano began with a discussion about the project and public engagement, and addressed an environmental concern – What happens to the piano after the project? The AGN Youth Council began thinking about the lifecycle of the piano and the eventuality that the instrument would end up as waste at the end of the project. The piano was painted a bright magenta as the colour promotes compassion, kindness and cooperation. It encourages a sense of self respect and contentment in those who use it. Found plastic objects are added weekly to draw attention to the plastic waste of every day products. By week five, it had become a colourful sea of plastic balls! This project has become an organic, evolving and interactive installation.

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