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Dakota West Arts Council
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There’s something new at the Bismarck Airport. A public piano and it’s waiting for people to sit down and play a song or two.
Bismarck Art Galleries & Association donated the piano to Dakota West Arts Council. In turn, Dakota West Arts Council had a local artist, Bryan Kroh, paint it and placed it at the airport for anyone to play while waiting for a flight or arriving passengers. “Piano music will add ambiance and a little fun to our airport,” said City Commissioner, Josh Askvig. Askvig has the Bismarck Airport in his commissioner portfolio.
“The community collaboration between the Arts Council, Bismarck Airport, local artists, both visual and performing artists, and Hometown Movers was seamless,” said Eileen Walsh, Executive Director at Dakota West Arts Council. Greg Haug, Bismarck’s Airport Director, and Walsh worked on the project from both ends of their areas of expertise; Haug figured out how and where the piano would go at the airport and Walsh found and worked with the visual and performing artists, and Hometown Movers made it possible to get the piano moved to the airport.
Haug said, “The Arts Council came up with the idea and proposed it. We thought the project was perfect for our airport. It will be a lot of fun for everyone, especially during the Holidays.”
“We had a local artist, Bryan Kroh, paint the piano before it went to the airport,” said Eileen Walsh. Kroh responded to the art council’s Facebook request for an artist. “I really wanted to do this project. I envisioned the piano having a Northern Lights feel because lying on the grass at night and looking at the Northern Lights has always been a good North Dakota experience for me,” said Kroh.
The artist was paid with funds donated to the Arts Council. The piano now sits between the escalators near the baggage claim on the main level. “The whole idea is for people to engage with the art, either by playing the piano themselves or by listening, singing or dancing to the music created by their friends, neighbors, or visitors” said Walsh.
This is the third public art project Dakota West Arts Council has been involved in. Utility BoxArt and AlleyArt in downtown Bismarck proceeded PianoArt. “Artists will once again paint in Alley 5.5 again this summer. And, we are working with local schools to paint the dumpsters,” Walsh said. What’s next? “We’ve got more ideas than money!” she added. Donations for public art can be made at artscapital.org