Playable Public Art
Four outdoor playable pianos are throughout downtown for anyone to play and for all to enjoy. The pianos also serve as temporary works of public art, painted and collaged by talented local artists to bring more color to downtown’s core. While the pianos are primarily for participation from passersby, we have professional pianists playing the pianos throughout the summer.
The Playable Public Pianos will be move indoors on Thursday, August 29. Here are their winter locations.
Valentina Gonzalez piano
Sheldon Community Center - 2445 Willakenzie Rd.
David Placencia piano
Shelter Care Uhlhorn Program - 1250 W. 18th Ave.
Mija Andrade piano
Washington Park Community Center - 2025 Washington St.
Peter Goldlust & Melanie Germond piano
New Zone Gallery - 22 W. 7th Ave.
"Play More" by artist Valentina Gonzalez
The concept was a collaborative process with teens from the City of Eugene’s Cultural Services summer internship Program. Speaking to the importance of creating communities where the youth are encouraged to be engaged as equal contributors in shaping their society. Using the imagery of waves to symbolize the emotional instability of adolescence, amid images of people and places important to them downtown. Googly eyes on the right leg, the only leg for it to stand on, representing the need for visibility as a means of support rather than of surveillance and exploitation.
About the Artist
Valentina Gonzalez is an artist and musician who lives in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Originally from Santa Fe, NM, also known as VRGNZ; she combines a background in urban art with her experience as a graphic artist to create dynamic, personal paintings. She is committed to supporting community activities and has worked with an array of youth and social service programs. Using mostly spray paint and marker, bright colors, and bold patterns and layers, she chooses to produce artwork that challenges social normatives and empowers others to share their stories through creative visual expression.
"A New Era of Unity" by artist David Placencia
I utilize chaos into my artworks to create harmony and this reminds me to find beauty in life. Art and beauty traverse the gaps of knowledge and can portray an unseen or unknown perspective. I am specifically curious about the visual connections found in atomic structures, nerve cells and space travel. These connections are inspired by physics, nature, memory, and neuroscience act as visual metaphors of how we can find unity amidst the chaos and discover the threads that tie us together.
I look forward to examining more than just beauty but also engage in cultural and scientific impacts through art. In my practice and social engagement this will allow my subconscious mind to perhaps foreshadow a thread of common unity that will visually portray a coalesced truth. We all see the chaos but we shouldn’t be overwhelmed or stunted by it. We can engage through the arts, through the chaos, and expound a message of inclusion and understanding.
Khaos- The gap (or chasm) of understanding.
Stasis- A means to stand or balance.
"1982 Pop Culture" by artist Mija Andrade
“I was beyond thrilled when Cultural Services invited me to be part of this project, giving me an upright piano to use as a canvas for my eclectic, mixed-media art. The 1982 theme is intended to honor the Hult Center’s 35th anniversary. I have a great affinity for the ’90s as I was a teenager during that decade. It was a very influential time for me, especially the music, fashion and artwork of the era. I enjoy layering designs, colors and imagery in my mixed-media collage work and chose images of iconic musicians and albums of the ’90s to layer over colorful painted patterns and sheet music. I also needed to incorporate the words “Please Play Me,” which I chose to do so by replicating variations of artwork by Keith Haring, one of my favorite artists who gained notoriety in the ’80s. I am so very honored to have had this opportunity and am grateful I was able to share some of my love of ’80s music and art through this project.”
About the Artist
Mija grew up in California but has lived and worked in Eugene since 1995. Mija worked for many years in graphic arts and studied in the UC Santa Cruz graphic design and production program. She became involved with the Lane County non-prot organization MECCA in 2006 and worked as its executive director from 2008-13. She has worked and partnered with many Lane County organizations, planned community events and served on boards. She is an artist and long-time member of the local philanthropic women’s art group The ArtChics. Mija was the resident artist at the Oregon Supported Living Program (OSLP) Arts & Culture Program before transitioning to the role of development director. She is also the 2017 Eugene Slug Queen Santa Frida Babosita.
"Urchin" by artists Peter Goldlust & Melanie Germond
As public artists, Melanie and Pete are engaged in a playful investigation of abstracted natural form. They appropriate elements from a variety of plant and animal sources, combining traits to create a colorfully baroque array of mutated hybrid forms. Inspirations include textile design, children’s book illustration and indie comics. Their piano, Urchin is a creature of the streets—loud, unkempt and non-binary. It is a celebration of the rich, weird diversity of human form, a tribute to the grotesque in all of us, and an acknowledgement of the expressive potential of unreconstructed body hair.
About the Artists
Pete Goldlust and Melanie Germond and their two sons relocated from the southwest to Eugene in 2016. They have been working together on creative projects for over 30 years. Since 2009, the two have individually and collaboratively been awarded 20+ public art commissions. Projects have spanned a wide variety of media: music and sound composition, painted murals, concrete, metalwork, terrazzo, window glass treatments, and sculptural work with recycled plastics, textiles, and other materials. Melanie and Pete are actively involved in building educational and arts opportunities for kids. They currently volunteer-teach art at Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School in Eugene.