- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - More pianos that have been decorated by local artists are popping up around Detroit, offering passers-by a chance to create music in unexpected places.

The Detroit Institute of Arts has partnered with Keys in the Cities and Forward Arts on the project to place pianos at three Detroit locations: the Ford Resource and Engagement Center, Belle Isle park and in the Osborn neighborhood. A kickoff event is Thursday.

Donated by area residents, the upright pianos got a colorful overhaul courtesy of Detroit artists Marlo Broughton, Tylon Sawyer and Keri Mortimer. Work to transform the pianos took place starting last month at the Red Bull House of Art in Eastern Market.

“Our hope is that the pianos become part of the fabric of the vibrant communities they serve,” Dominic Arellano, executive director of Forward Arts, said in a statement. An aim is to bring people together through the arts and participate in spontaneous acts of creative self-expression.

The nonprofit Keys in the Cities earlier brought the painted piano idea to Lansing and East Lansing. And in June, Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services placed five pianos that had been painted by artists in downtown Detroit.

A documentary titled “Keys in D” is being filmed by Mark Einhaus of Media Hero to chronicle how the program unfolds. A public screening is planned later.

For the Detroit Institute of Arts, the piano project is the latest in a series of efforts to get people involved in the arts outside the confines of the museum. It’s displaying dozens of artwork reproductions in the Detroit area this summer, as its 5-year-old “Inside/Out” effort expands to other U.S. cities.

“We feel it is important to take our visitor-centered mission of helping people make personal connections with art outside of museum walls,” said Kathryn Dimond, director of community relations at the museum.





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