PLAY YOUR HEART
OUT AT THE BISMARCK AIRPORT
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 former City Commissioner, Josh Askvig. Askvig that worked with the Bismarck Airport as a city commissioner when the piano was installed.
“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's been a lot of fun for everyone, especially during the Holidays.” We've even had piano recitals here!
“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 just one of the many public art projects Dakota West Arts Council has been involved in. Utility BoxArt and AlleyArt in downtown Bismarck proceeded PianoArt. What’s next? “We’ve got more ideas than money!” she added. Donations for public art can be made at artscapital.org