‘I am Piano. Play me.’ takes over Fishers
Artist David Goloversic is at the Brooks School Road Park, painting a piano as if Captain America regularly sits at it to play a concerto.
Red and white stripes run up and down the piano, and its bright blue top is adorned with a gargantuan white star.
Goloversic’s piece is part of an art exhibit called “I am Piano. Play me.” He was one of six artists who painted pianos around Fishers as part of the project, which was facilitated by the Fishers Arts Council to bring approachable art to Fishers residents.
Approachable art can mean pieces that a viewer can walk up to – in this case, anyone can walk up to the pianos and play Chopsticks, Rhapsody in Blue or anything else he or she wants.
And when that happens, approachability takes on a whole new meaning.
Striking a chord
This is the second year “I am Piano” goes on display. The exhibit came to fruition when Greg Farrell, a Fishers Arts Council member, recommended the group look into being part of a similar project taking place in London.
Doug Whisman, a Fishers Arts councilor, and his wife, Ji-Eun Lee, donated three pianos from their business, the Ji-Eun Lee Music Academy.
After a discussion about costs to be part of that project’s branding and scene, it was decided that all the council had to do was drop the pianos off and listen to the music.
Four pianos were donated the first year and painted with a “four elements” theme.
This year, the pianos trade fiery and cool blue paint schemes for the stars and stripes.
“Honoring our Military Heroes”
With the stars and stripes, the six pianos took a personal spin this year.
The theme “Honoring our Military Heroes,” was suggested by Ben Blanco, one of the Fishers Arts councilors. Blanco’s brother currently serves in the United States military, so when the family donated a piano to the exhibit, Blanco wanted that one piano to be a tribute to his brother and what he’s doing for the country.
Whisman said the idea was quickly adapted to be the entire theme.
Six artists were given one theme. Six unique artworks now stand throughout Fishers.
Goloversic’s “Captain America” inspired piano is decked out as if the hero found a hobby besides hand-to-hand combat.
Nekoda Witsken’s “Pride and Honor” piano brightly depicts Native American heroes with the reminder that “We are all American.”
Lydia Burris’ “Personal Military Heroes” piano is a bright collage of men and women who put their lives on the line for the country, while Pam Fraizer’s piano recognizes heroines from multiple conflicts.
Fraizer said, “Since so many women’s rights are currently in question, I thought it was important to feature women who had served in the armed forces.”
The “Let Freedom Ring” piano is a patriotic homage from Liz Jenkins that is presented from a child’s perspective.
“I love taking on projects that are different from what I usually do,” Jenkins said. “It’s fun to be challenged and have to think about your art in a different way.”
Walk past Christi Ziebarth’s “Unsung Heroes” piano, and one question comes to mind – what does a black paint scheme with luminous swirls and neon dots have to do with military heroes?
Ziebarth asked community members to submit appreciative words, honors or prayers for heroes who do not get recognized for their sacrifice. The appreciations would be painted on the piano. Not a single person stepped forward.
“Instead of filling in the empty spaces myself, I decided to paint the design itself as much of a bold patriotic visual anthem as I could, so that the artwork itself ‘sang’ thanks to our military,” she said.
While bringing approachable art to Fishers residents and honoring military heroes are primary goals, “I am Piano” serves another purpose.
Whisman said another goal of the project is to drive commerce to Fishers, and ultimately, alter the fabric of the community.
At least one musician has considered which of the six pianos is in the best condition and could draw the best crowd, and two offers have already been made to purchase the pianos.
The pianos’ fates are uncertain, according to Whisman, but what is certain is what it takes to make such a project happen – besides volunteerism and sponsorship.
“I have a passion to see people view creativity as a life skill, not merely a categorized accessory of the art world,” Ziebarth said. “Being creative is an affinity toward beauty and a bent to embrace innovation and problem solving.”