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October 28, 2017 3:29 am

Let Your Fingers Fly

Thursday, July 9, 2015 @ 2:20 PM


l-r Karma Vance and Maggee Spicer,  artists who painted the public piano at YXS-photo 250News

Prince George, B.C.- Don’t be surprised to see someone  letting their fingers fly over the ivories at the Prince George Airport.  It’s  part of a  project that  brings pianos to the streets of Prince George.

P.S. Piano Service and the Prince George Symphony Orchestra have joined forces to bring five public pianos to P.G. for the City’s centennial.  Two have been  custom painted with  artists Karma Vance and Maggee Spicer responsible for the one that  is positioned at  YXS.

It took one weekend to varnish and put on the base coat,  then  another week to  apply the images of a  picnic style table setting, with teapots,  plates, watermelon and strawberries.  “We just wanted it to be  approachable and enjoyable”  says Karma Vance.  Vance and Spicer  already have a piano painting to their credit, having done  one for the Cancer Centre in Prince George.

Peter Stevenson  ( of P.S. Piano Service) says  of the five pianos to be placed in Prince George,  only two will be  protected from the elements.  The one at YXS and one  that was painted by Erin Stewart which  will be featured at the Civic Centre  “Public street painted  pianos  is a growing phenomenon around the world” says  Stevenson.

As for  the outdoor pianos being victims of vandalism, Stevenson says that’s not a concern  “These are pianos that are in rougher shape,   they will be out in the elements,  pianos that  people walking by can play them,  I really invite  anyone  to come and play them.  There will be one piano outside the Odeon on Third Avenue another outside the HSBC building and then one at the bandshell at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.”  Each of the pianos will be chained to a pillar so they can’t be pushed over.  “Those (three outdoor) pianos are really at the end of their life, so what’s going to happen is that at the end of the ten 10s,  we’re going to  have a recycling party.  Most pianos  just get taken to the dump, but there’s a lot of metal in them, so we’re really excited to put these pianos to be properly.”

So from today through the 19th of July,  the pianos are  available  for anyone to  sit down and let their fingers  fly “I really wanted to celebrate the vibrant  musical community in Prince George and that we’ve had in Prince George since the beginning, so we’re hoping to have some piano teachers  bring their students  to try out the  pianos” says Stevenson.

When the 10 days are  done,  the  painted piano at the Airport will be donated to the Two Rivers Art Gallery,  the other is expected to be permanently installed at another, as yet unnamed  location.

YXS President and CEO John Gibson says the painted public piano is a great fit for the airport ” It builds on our arts in the terminal program,  helps us celebrate  the City’s 100 years,  and  have some fun for the people who come through our terminal.”

The piano proved to be irresistible to  one  airport visitor as a  2 year old boy was the first to plunk himself down on the piano bench and start  hitting the keys, no virtuoso,  but  his music  created plenty of smiles all around.



One thing I don’t have is a musical bone in my body.. I can play a stereo though..lol

I appreciate anyone with musical talent and hope to catch someone tickling the ivories while the opportunity is here

This is awesome ,, nice job Ladies :)

So the one at YXS is also just for a short period? That’s too bad. I was at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague last summer and they had a permanent piano set up and it was such a neat installation, as passengers gathered around and listened as people sat down and played for a bit. Obviously a bit greater volume of people there, but if the PG Airport Authority could find a central space for it, it would be great to have permanently.

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