Arts and Entertainment

Art and music: popular Pianos on Parade returns to Auburn

Amy Collins
Amy Collins' fun piano features keys that purr. The colorful, creative piano can be found adjacent to the Discovery Playground in the center of Les Gove Park.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Pianos on Parade is back for its third annual parade, celebrating art and music throughout Auburn.

The temporary art project takes the shape of seven art-modified pianos that anyone can see and play.

Previously located in downtown Auburn, the program has expanded to Les Gove Park and Lakeland Hills this summer.

The art and music display is open to the public for one month and closes its keys for playing on Monday, Sept. 8. It will be back for another parade next summer.

Artists worked to modify the musical instruments, giving each piano a new artistically-treated exterior.



Artists: Michael Taskeylinks and Theresa Taskey Uttecht

• Piano location: One Main (corner of Main and Division, downtown Auburn)

• Piano host: State Farm Insurance, Agent Scott Hubert

• Theme: Inspired by the 1920s German silent horror film, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", the artist team of Taskey and Taskey Uttecht use glow in the dark paint, carved wood and solar powered lights to make this piano truly a work of art.

• Bio: Using power tools, hand tools and paint brushes, this brother-sister team transforms wood, metal, plastic and other solids into sculptural pieces. Their artwork is inspired by the natural world and cultural histories. Each work of art is carefully planned, but they are not afraid to follow the tangents that inevitably appear.

Artist: Mary Ellen Bowers

• Piano location: 101 E. Main St. (corner of Main and Auburn Ave., downtown Auburn)

• Piano host: Nelson's Jewelry

• Theme: Inspired by the majestic view from Auburn's Centennial Viewpoint Park, Bowers created an torn paper collage from this impressive overlook. Using hand-painted paper, Bowers recreated the view of Mount Rainier and the park's sculpture, "The Long Look" (by Brad Rude.)

• Bio: Bowers delights in discovering new ways to depict the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Known primarily for her unique mosaics of used plastic credit cards and gift cards, Bowers enjoys exploring the limits of unconventional art-making.

Artist: Suzy Fountaine

• Piano location: 1406 Lake Tapps Parkway E.

• Piano host: Haggen Food Grocery Store, Lakeland Hills

• Theme: This whimsical piano is a celebration of Elton John that depicts moments of his life, his songs and of the '60s generation. A popular favorite from 2013, this piano has been redone with 3-D elements that can be viewed through the glasses provided onsite.

• Bio: Fountaine is a freelance graphic, Web, multimedia designer and artist specializing in graphic design as well as graphite/charcoal/chalk in the fine arts.

Artist: Amaranta Ibarra

• Piano location: B Street Plaza, 144 E. Main St.

• Piano host: Home Plate Pub

• Theme: Drawing from her own background, Ibarra depicts imagery of Dia de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead") and invites the viewer/player to take a moment to consider ancestors of the past.

• Bio: Ibarra is an artist, art teacher, arts advocate and a single mother. She works in a variety of mediums, and her subject matter includes Calacas, Vampires, Goth girls, Angels and Demons, and a blend of NW culture, Mexican Heritage and Dia de los Muertos Iconography.

Artist: Elise Koncsek

• Piano location: Sound Transit Plaza, 23 A St. SW

• Piano host: Station Bistro

• Theme: The public is invited to share your own melodies by arranging magnetic laser-cut wood musical notes on a metallic score. Play what you find, and leave inspiration for the next visitor.

• Bio: Koncsek, primarily a photographer, is interested in multi-media, including laser cut wood artworks, which begin as digital images drawn by hand using a tablet. The digital files are converted for cutting by Jesse Card on his machine at Zot Lasers in Seattle.

Artist: Amy Collins

• Piano location: Les Gove Park, 910 Ninth St. SE

Piano Host: City of Auburn

• Theme: Reimagined as a gigantic fuzzy animal, Collins' fun piano will have the keys purring as they are played. Whimsical and fun, this piano is located adjacent to the Discovery Playground in the center of Les Gove Park.

• Bio: Collins is an illustrator, painter, animator, photographer and video editor extraordinaire. She graduated from Cornish College of The Arts in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. Her work is whimsical and random, with a playful childlike quality Jerrud Collins was a collaborative artist on this project.

For the public

• Piano location: 402 E. Main St., No. 120

• Piano host: Zola's Café

• Theme: In tribute to street performers, anyone can play the piano for tips with this penny covered piano that has the tip jar built right in.

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