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The Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA), in partnership with Free the Music PGH, is
soliciting proposals from individual artists for the design and embellishment of up to three (3)upright pianos to be placed throughout Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), which will be available for public use. As part of the Art in the Airport Program at PIT with support from the Office of Public Art (OPA), the two have partnered with Free the Music PGH, to provide an opportunity for local artists and traveling music lovers to collaborate on this unique project. The pianos will be unveiled in June, 2020 and will be located at the airport for a minimum of six weeks.
Free the Music PGH is an initiative founded by Hudson Colletti, a Pittsburgh Freshman in high school. Hudson has been playing piano for several years, and developed the idea after seeing the joy created at a public piano during a trip to Montreal’s Old City. Free the Music PGH envisions public pianos throughout Pittsburgh to foster human connection through music, which has the potential to break down the barriers between us. In 2019, they placed three artistdesigned free to the public.
Eligibility and Qualifications
This call is open to all visual artists living within a twenty mile radius of downtown Pittsburgh. This project is best suited for designs that involve surface painting, mosaic, collage, or low-relief sculptural elements. Artists will be responsible for providing a work space/storage for the piano during the execution of the artwork. Arrangements will be made to have the piano delivered to and from the artist’s space and to the airport, which is why the specific distance from downtown has been defined for this project.
Artists will be reviewed based upon the following:
● The aesthetic quality of past work samples,
● The aesthetic quality of the proposed concept design for this project,
● Quality and completeness of the application materials and,
● A clear understanding of the scope and timeline of the project.
Only proposals that respond to the following will be accepted:
● Pianos must remain mobile to be easily moved to various areas of the airport.
● Pianos must remain accessible for anyone to sit down and play.
● Design and embellishment may not interfere with the piano’s originally intended
functionality in any way.
● Design and embellishment may not include physical elements that extend more than
twelve inches from the piano’s original form.
Selected artists will be given an artist fee of $500 from ACAA to complete the project. Up to an additional $200 will be available for the purchase of materials, through Free the Music PGH. The artist, with support from ACAA and OPA, will devise a materials list and procurement strategy for those materials.
The anticipated schedule represents ACAA’s best estimate. Timeline is subject to change.
February 27, 2020 Call released
April 13, 2020 at 5:00 PM Application deadline
April 20, 2020 Artists announced
May 1- June 8 Artists work on pianos
June 15-26, 2020 Pianos Delivered to Airport
Each proposal will be evaluated by a selection panel and will be reviewed for responsiveness to the aforementioned eligibility. The panel will consist of members of the Art in the Airport
Advisory Committee, which is comprised of community and airport representatives as well as
local arts professionals and Free the Music PGH representatives.
How to Apply:
Interested artists must submit an application through Submittable using this link:
Respondents must supply the following materials in entirety for an application to be considered complete:
Statement of Interest (1 page max)
A letter describing why you are interested in this project, a summary of your practice, and a brief description of your proposed design that includes context or any other pertinent information not evident in the concept image samples.
Concept Image Samples
1-3 images that most clearly describe the proposed design. These can be composite photos,
hand drawings, photomontages, or any other visual language that renders a clear account of the idea to be realized. Please label each file with your last name, then first name, followed by
“proposal” using this format: LastName_FirstName_Proposal
Past Work Samples
Up to 10 images of past work that best serve as examples to support your proposal. On
Submittable, follow the upload instructions. Please label each file with your last name, then first name and sample number using this format: LastName_FirstName_1
Past Work Sample Text. (1 page max)
A document with text that provides a list of works submitted. Please include the corresponding number on the file name, your name, title of the art piece, materials, and date that the work was created. Descriptions for each submitted work sample image should follow the following format:
1. First and last name, work title, materials used, dimensions, date
Artist Statement and Bio (200 word max)
All submissions must be received by April 13, by 4:00 PM EDT. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com
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