LC Art Gallery: Pianos About Town

Although the Art Gallery is not open to walk-in traffic, attendees to scheduled meetings and events at The Lincoln Center can enjoy our exhibit Pianos About Town: Celebrating 10 Years, 2010–2020 while safely socially distancing by viewing the art from outside of the gallery through the glass!

A selection of painted plywood panels from past pianos that are no longer playable are featured in this exhibit. These plywood panels are added in the process of getting pianos ready to paint to give the mural artists a better surface.

The exhibit also includes the pinball-themed mural by artists Paul and Todd Faris. This past winter, The Lincoln Center hosted an exhibit of Paul Faris’ pinball game artwork in the gallery.

Later this month, we will be live streaming an artist painting a piano on site.

Pianos About Town is a collaborative project between the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places Program, Bohemian Foundation, and the Downtown Development Authority. Pianos About Town combines art and music for the enjoyment of the community. Each summer, a new piano is painted every two weeks allowing the public to meet the artist and see the progress of the mural as they work. The completed pianos rotate to locations throughout Fort Collins, inviting people to admire the artwork and play a tune. To date, over 120 murals have been painted. When the pianos are no longer playable, they are disassembled and what isn’t recyclable is offered to artists to create new art projects.

Art in Public Places: Murals

The City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program (based out of The Lincoln Center) is working with local artists to paint over 50 murals throughout Fort Collins!

The largest mural project of the season was recently completed in northeast Fort Collins. The 190-foot long Maple Hill Community Mural is located on the southeast corner of Turnberry and Richards Lake Road.

As part of the Vibrant Neighborhoods Grant Program, artist Kristen Vohs was selected to create a mural on the south wing walls of the Turnberry underpass with members of the Maple Hill neighborhood. Kristen laid out the mural, painted the hard-to-reach areas then created outlines and indicated colors for the members of the neighborhood to paint. Over 60 painters wore masks, were divided into time slots and given socially distant areas to paint.

The project is a partnership between Art in Public Places, the City’s Neighborhood Services department, the Maple Hill HOA and Fort Collins artist Kristen Vohs.

In response to new COVID-19 precautions for restaurants downtown, Art in Public Places and City’s Engineering Department—in collaboration with the Jason and Lucy Greer Foundation for the Arts and the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District—are hiring local artists to paint temporary murals on the concrete barriers around outdoor dining areas throughout downtown.

Check out the completed murals at Beau Jo’s, Bistro Nautile, Blind Pig Pub, Pour Brothers Community Tavern, The Reserve by Old Elk Distillery, The Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant and Sushi Plus. Artist Wildrose Hamilton has also started painting a dragonfly-inspired mural on the barrier outside the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Bistro.

In addition to these special projects, Art in Public Places is continuing its two annual mural programs. In its 15th year, the Transformer Cabinet Mural program will paint 28 electrical cabinets all around town. As the first in the nation, this graffiti mitigation program for the City’s Light and Power Utility brings art to the public spaces of our community. The program has completed 320 unique murals to date. In its 10th year, Pianos About Town—a collaborative project between Art in Public Places, Bohemian Foundation, and the Downtown Development Authority—will paint 13 murals on working pianos. Pianos About Town combines art and music for the enjoyment of the community. Each summer, a new piano is painted every two weeks (currently in Oak Street Plaza) allowing the public to meet the artist and see the progress of the mural as they work. The completed pianos rotate to locations throughout Fort Collins inviting people to admire the artwork and play a tune. To date, over 120 murals have been painted.

While you enjoy the fall in Fort Collins, please also enjoy all the wonderful murals that are being added to the community. Learn more about these projects and programs on the Art in Public Places website.

Altering How Couples Get to the Altar

Interactive culinary experiences, unique table layouts,  and sustainable “green” weddings were among the 2020 wedding trends predicted by The Knot at the turn of the year. But as the chaos and uncertainty of this year has unfolded, these trends are far from the focus of couples navigating physical distancing, attendance limits and the threat of cancellation. 

Couples scheduled to be married this year have been hit with a lot of restrictions and guidelines, but these roadblocks have not stopped couples from tying the knot; instead, they have allowed for some new, unpredictable wedding trends to emerge. Here’s some of my favorites:

Small ceremoniesAlthough they’re not a novel practice, small ceremonies have gained some favorable attention this year. Ceremonies in front of 20-30 invited guests allow for close friends and relatives to witness the nuptials while respecting physical distancing requirements and attendance limitations. These ceremonies are sometimes followed by a small reception, but some people elect to host a large reception at a later date.

Sequel weddingsJust like your favorite franchise movie, the sequel wedding comes months or even a year after a smaller ceremony and reception. This is not a new concept, but the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly given couples across varying cultures and religions a reason to consider it. And who says the sequel can’t be better than the original?

Live streaming/virtual weddingsCouples may have to trim their guest lists to accommodate state or county event guidelines, but live streaming allows them to include family and friends who didn’t make the cut. Many venues, including The Lincoln Center, are investing in live streaming equipment to adapt to increased demand for virtual event attendance. Our live streaming equipment can deliver clear, real-time footage of your event directly to the homes of your family and friends so they don’t miss a minute of your special day! 

Boxed mealsIn the interest of health and safety at events, many caterers and wedding couples have opted for individually boxed meals and desserts for wedding guests. While not the most sustainable option because of the increased waste that it generates, it is an efficient method of decreasing touchpoints during food service. Lunchables, anyone?

PPE Wedding FavorsParty bags filled with masks, wet wipes, bottles of hand sanitizer and more can be found at many COVID-19 weddings to keep all party-goers safe. I’ve even had a couple provide customized masks for all their wedding guests.

It’s hard to say which of these unexpected trends will outlast this pandemic, but there’s a couple that I predict will stick around:

Small ceremonies tend to be less stressful, more budget-friendly, and allow for a more personal and intimate experience for everyone involved. Because of this, I believe they will continue to be an attractive option for couples.

Secondly, it’s likely that live streaming will become more ubiquitous in the upcoming years. Relatives or friends who are sick, elderly, or live out of state have always been a consideration for couples when planning their weddings, even before the pandemic limited event attendance. Now that the infrastructure is in place in many venues, couples can take advantage of that option for years to come.

At The Lincoln Center, we are committed to helping couples navigate the confusing and challenging task of planning a wedding during a pandemic. We are prepared to accommodate small ceremonies and receptions with live streaming available in all indoor event spaces. We pledge to help you reimagine and create your safe and intimate dream wedding incorporating all the latest trends and more!

Whether or not these trends stick around, I am sure the stories of weddings that endured through a global pandemic will be carried on for generations. We truly are witnessing history!   

Rachael Russell | The Lincoln Center, Conference Services Coordinator |