From Shelly Bottorff, Executive Director:
The Piano Public Art project was my first project as Executive Director for the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association.
As a pianist and piano teacher, I often receive calls from people who have a piano they'd like to get rid of, whether give away or to sell it. Many times people will give them away to anyone who will pick them up simply because they take up too much space or the owner doesn't want to pay the expense of hiring someone to move it.
In 2017, as I was sitting at Central Perk, I received a message that a ninety year old lady had a piano that had been in her family forever. She needed to find a new home for it, as she was moving into Friendship Haven in seven DAYS!!!!!
This is when using the pianos for public art came to mind.
The Fort Dodge Fine Arts Board of Directors believed that this would be a perfect public art project, as well as a great recycling project for our community.
We contacted the coach of the rugby team at Iowa Central Community College to see if the team would provide the muscle to move this piano. They agreed to help. Green Amusement donated a truck to transport the piano and Hope Thier (the Education Director at the Blanden Art Museum) and Alex Bloomquist were willing to paint the piano. Todd McCubbin, Creative Cakes, was on board for us to house the piano at Creative Cakes.
The piano turned to be an amazing piece of art!!! A framed story about each piano is placed on each piano. Some locations allow people to play them, other do not.
Before long we had lots of pianos from which to choose.
Please enjoy this Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association public art project - music, painting, photography and much more - something for everyone to enjoy
Painted Pianos in Fort Dodge
1. Crossroads Mall: Hope Thier, Alex Bloomquist & Steve Kersten
2. Fort Museum and Frontier Village: Noel Goebel
3. Greenstate Bank: Beth Bottorff & Judy Shepard
4. Shiny Top Brewing: Eric Guyler & Jim Griffel
5. Fort Frenzy: Seth Hugghins
6. Soldier Creek Winery: Meg Beshey
7.AFES: Isaiah Degan & AFES Students
8.City Hall: Photography Program students
9.Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association Gallery: Gabbie Herzberg
10.Fort Dodge Regional Airport: Jennifer Dutcher
11.Camp WaNoKi: Kara Weyand
12.Fort Dodge Public Library: Kristi Carlson
13.Friendship Haven, Memory Unit: Paula Fitchhorn
14.Iowa Central Community College, Triton Gallery: Casey Faiferlick
15.Shimkat Motors: Hope Their