While at a Chicago Bandits game at Parkway Bank Sports Complex, I saw a colorful piano on the right field concourse. Upon closer inspection, I learned it was one of several public pieces of art installed throughout Rosemont.
The piano is part of “Pop-Up Pianos,” Rosemont’s latest community project, as an extension of the Rosemont Mural Initiative. Eight used and vibrantly painted, fully working pianos are brightening some of the most visited spots in Rosemont through September.
Chicago native and internationally known artist Rahmaan Statik mentored eight students from local colleges who were commissioned and paid for creating the piano art. Statik coached the students, but he made it clear the students envisioned the ideas and created the work. They used an area of a village parking garage as their studio.
Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens praised the project for adding beauty to the village while also providing a platform for talented, young artists. He made special mention of the pianos being interactive. Anyone is allowed to play. At the Bandits game, I witnessed a teenage girl delight the crowd with the appropriate “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” That was one of many times I have seen people of all ages show off their amazing talent at the ball park piano.
One of the artists is Alexee McNulty, who is pursuing a degree in graphic design while also doing photography on the side. Of her piano residing at the Village Hall, Alexee said, “I thought of something flowy and colorful that both kids and adults would enjoy. I incorporated it with roses and a touch of gold. To me, gold means something precious, and that is how I see my artwork.” She documented the process and looks forward to the formal dedication.
I am a big fan of such public art. I wish they were permanent displays, but they are going to good homes. They will be donated to local schools. Until then, I will enjoy their beauty and also the music when they are played.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
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