The 2016 exhibition in Mesa, Arizona was just one example of the PLAY ME, I’M YOURS exhibition, which brings playable pianos onto city streets across the world
(Last updated June 2019)
Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork exhibition by British artist Luke Jerram that places decorated, playable pianos in public places in cities across the world. I had an opportunity to see one of its exhibitions when it came to Mesa, Arizona in 2016.
Play Me, I’m Yours was first commissioned in Birmingham, UK in 2008, where 15 pianos were located across the city for three weeks. Since then, more than 1,900 pianos have been installed in over 60 cities across the globe, with more planned and in discussion. The pianos are designed to provoke people to engage with their urban landscape and interconnect, and maybe coax a hidden musician or two out of the woodwork.
In Mesa, artists, working with local community groups, transformed 24 playable pianos into works of art, 16 of which were located in downtown Mesa. Downtown Mesa has no skyscrapers and few multi-story buildings. With wide streets, broad sidewalks, and lack of hustle-bustle, it was an easy area to walk through and discover the pianos. Seven other pianos were located in other parts of Mesa, including one at Mesa-Gateway airport. The last piano was a “rogue” piano and was moved regularly, with people encouraged to follow @rougepianomesa on Twitter to see where it showed up next.
For information on other current and upcoming locations for street pianos see Play Me, I’m Yours.