Arts & Culture South Orange Towns

Playing — and Painting — Pianos in South Orange


A painted piano from Playin' South Orange 2013. Courtesy of SOPAC
A painted piano from Playin’ Around South Orange 2013. Courtesy of SOPAC

Locals might remember the sudden appearance last summer of festively decorated pianos that sprung up throughout South Orange.

The pianos, part of a public arts project, will return this summer, and visual artists are invited to apply to participate.

But hurry! Artists interested in repurposing a piano need to submit applications by July 18.

The 2nd annual Playin’ Around South Orange project — sponsored by PNC Bank and hosted by South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), the Village of South Orange, Seton Hall University and South Orange Village Community Alliance (SOVCA) — will feature decorated pianos displayed in various locations throughout town from August 23 through October 4, according to a press release.

The pianos will be placed in highly trafficked outdoor spaces and will be available for the public to play at their leisure. Professional musicians will be scheduled to play the pianos on various days, encouraging community members to join in the “jam sessions” by playing an instrument or singing.

Local artists, or teams of artists, are invited to apply to paint pianos in or around SOPAC during the month of August.

A press release says that designs that engage the community “around the themes of the performing and visual arts” are encouraged.

An honorarium will be supplied to the artist. The project is open to all locally-based artists or design teams, age 18 or over.

The application process includes a one-page letter describing the artist’s or team’s design concept and source of inspiration, and the submission of multiple images of past work or a website link to view the work, plus an optional full color concept of the proposed design.

All applications must be completed by Friday, July 18, 2014 and all piano artwork must be completed by Thurs., August 18, 2014. The application and more information about the project can be found at




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