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Downtown Art Piano engages students, artists and community

11/21/2016

Music is on the move in downtown Kokomo thanks to a local family and a group of Kokomo High School students.

Dubbed “The Downtown Art Piano,” a local family donated the piano and sponsors had it fitted with a sturdy base and wheels to make it portable. Students then turned it into a playable work of art that downtown businesses and organizations may “check out.” A little tuning and it was ready to be played by the public.

It made its official debut during First Friday in October. It will now be set out periodically in downtown on different corners or in front of businesses that have "checked out" the piano for the day.

Alyson Hatcher and Kevin Sheets led the KHS students in the art project. Students participating include Madison Reed, Demi Novinger, Labrina Barber, Lana Pham, Kiah Hanson, Cadence Coy and Jonathan Ying.

The multimedia piece features a view of Earth from afar with the students’ inspiration being “trying to connect community and the world through the arts.”

“We had difficulty deciding what we wanted to do with such a huge canvas, but as a group we worked together to create a piece,” said KHS student Demi Novinger. “It took a lot of teamwork and dedication.”

This is not the group’s first public art project. It’s also worked on the Kokomo Speedway logo and the train mural along the Industrial Heritage Trail. Students hope this isn’t the last either.

“We are pretty proud of our work and hope we get the opportunity again,” said Alyson Hatcher.

The Greater Kokomo Downtown Association shares Hatcher’s excitement as this new amenity allows the organization another step forward in its place-making efforts, said Susan Alexander, manager of Downtown Initiatives for the association.

“It makes the downtown experience richer with an opportunity to hear and play music,” Alexander said.

The project itself and final outcome engage the community with downtown, which is at the heart of the Downtown Association’s work, she said.

“It showcases local art students and allows them to be a part of enriching the downtown experience with the visual and performing arts,” she said. “While on display, it will also engage local artistic talent as well.”

Those wishing to reserve The Downtown Art Piano may contact the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association at 765-457-5301 ext. 1201 or email salexander@greaterkokomo.com.

Sponsors of the project are the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association, Sound of Music, Rite Quality Office Supplies and Daniels, Alexander & Daniels - Freedom Financial.