The project documents a local community project in the Hudson Valley that turns old unwanted pianos destined for the dumpster into playable works of art. The completed pianos are placed in strategic locations around the village of Goshen where anyone is welcome to play them.
An initiative of the local mayor, the Keys of Goshen project engages local businesses, residents and the local art community, represented by the Goshen Arts League. Artists compete for the opportunity to paint one of the pianos and have to submit their ideas before a jury who select the winning applicants. Working to a strict deadline, the pianos are brought into playable condition, decorated, and then placed into their allocated positions around Goshen for the summer. In early fall, the pianos are auctioned and the proceeds used to fund the following years Keys project.
Every piano is donated, and vary in condition. Each one is checked to make sure it can be brought back to a playable condition.
All the work is completed at Piano Central which is a space donated by a local business for the duration of the project.
The pianos are washed to remove dirt, dust and years of accumulated grime, then sanded.
The chosen artists keep their named proposals pinned on the wall at Piano Central to stay on track with their ultimate vision for 'their' piano.
This design, by Tracy Dentico envisions the use of a henna makeup technique to illustrate the historical horse racing connection to Goshen.
This design, by artist Karen E. Gersch, illustrates a historically accurate visit by a circus to Goshen in the 1920's.
As well as being a sought-after artist, Karen is a highly accomplished and noted circus performer and trainer - hence her nickname "Circus Karen".
Karen E. Gersch giving her piano one of several primer coats of paint before starting the artistic transformation.
Tracy Dentico using a henna pen to apply a thick textured gold paint. It takes hours to paint one figure using this techique.
Karen E. Gersch working on one of the more difficult to reach areas of the piano.
Every artist concentrates on the detail. Facial expressions on the painted characters are humerous and unique.
The results are an amazing show of personal vision and talent.
The pianos are shown at a pre-launch celebration where anyone involved in the project shares a glass of wine and swaps stories of the process.
Finished, and waiting for the final tune-up prior launch.
Joe Cacheiro was the piano tech who gave his time to get every piano playable. Joe tunes each piano using nothing but a tuning fork, tuning wrench and a tongue depressor.
A visitor plays one of the pianos at the reception.
The local Mayor, Kyle Roddey congratulates Tracy Dentico on completion of the project.
Moving day. On the day of the public launch, members of the local Department of Public Works move each of the pianos out of Piano Central.
They are heavy, and it is no mean feat to get them through the doors without damaging them.
Placing a finished piano in its final location outside the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen.
The public launch attracted a number of local people and involved a walking tour to each of the piano's where a profesional pianist played a short selection of music, adding to the atmosphere.
Sisters Helen and Julia Tighe flank their western themed piano while it is introduced to the waiting public.
Circus Karen, pleased with the launch of her piano and the reaction from the public.
A few minutes after the launch, a local protestor puts down his sign, and has fun playing one of the pianos. Proof that art and music crosses all divides, perhaps?