An unusual, interactive art installation is taking over Toronto to mark the three-year countdown for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Starting Tuesday, 41 pianos, each painted by an artist with an affiliation with one of the 41 Pan American countries, will be placed in public spaces around the city with the message, “Play Me, I’m Yours.”
With colourful pianos set up in the Distillery District, by the CN Tower, and even at Pearson International Airport, the $250,000 project will be in place until the end of July.
The Street Pianos project started in 2008 by British artist Luke Jerram, with 15 pianos, but the unique movement has since spread to Sao Paulo, New York City and Sydney, Australia. Toronto’s event kicks off Tuesday at 8 p.m. at David Pecaut Square.
But, to Toronto residents, this public program is certainly reminiscent of the Mel Lastman-era Moose in the City project. Back in 2000, Mayor Mel commissioned an outdoor art exhibition of 326 life-sized moose sculptures, decorated by local artists, to add a little fun to the city’s 2008 bid for the Olympic Games.
Still, the “Play Me, I’m Yours” project packs more razzle dazzle than an inanimate, well-adorned moose. Though the link between Street Pianos and Toronto’s hosting of the 2015 Pan Am Games is abstract at best, there is little doubt this installation will put an extra spring in your step this month.
Joanna Adams is the online and social media editor for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter atâ€ @nowstarringTO.