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The York Art Association's Plein Air Piano Project employs artistic parameters designed to:

  • Protect the pianos during the artistic process

  • Ensure accessibility for all communities who encounter the piano artworks

  • Comply with regulations involving permitting, branding, and public safety enforced by the City of York. 

Sound and functionality

  • All parts of the piano pertaining to the instrument’s sound & functionality must remain intact and unpainted, including but not limited to keys, strings, inner workings, casters, etc.

  • No part of the piano may be removed at any time.

  • Seams may not be painted over, so that our technicians can access the pianos’ internal mechanisms at all times.

  • The backs of upright pianos (the soundboard) may NOT be painted and no additional materials may be used/attached.

For everyone’s safety

  • No objects that could be detached or cause harm to individuals may be attached to the piano at any time.

  • As painting will occur in an indoor studio space only approved water based paints will be used, use of spray paint or toxic materials is prohibited at all times.


Keep it friendly!

  • Obscenities, nudity, political messages, religious iconography, and distasteful images are strictly prohibited on the pianos. 

Miscellaneous fine print

  • Artwork must not contain copyrighted materials, including the images/writings of another artist and/or the appropriation of a person’s name and likeness. All pianos must be independent artworks that may not be associated with any pre-existing series or program. 

  • For maintenance purposes, miscellaneous hardware will be attached to each piano before the public installation. Hardware will be applied by contracted services through the York Art Association's Plein Air Piano Project after the painting on each piano has been completed.


...about Ownership, Branding, and Media

  • All pianos are the sole property of York Art Association's Plein Air Piano Project 

  • All participating artists give the York Art Association permission to publish their name and photos of the artwork throughout the project.

...about Piano Assignments & Placement

  • We will select a high-quality piano for your canvas according to the best availability within our inventory. Note that pianos come in all shapes and sizes; the more flexibility you can include in your design, the better.

  • As such, we regretfully cannot take specific public placement requests from artists at any time. Public placement of all pianos during the installation is subject to approval by the City of York.

  • Please note that during the installation, some parts of the artwork may be obscured from view depending on the piano’s position.

  • Once the pianos have been publicly placed, artists may not modify, alter, or adjust a piano’s artwork or physical location. 

  • York Art Association's Plein Air Piano Project does everything in its power to ensure the protection of each piano during its time on the streets, but there is still a chance that your piano and/or artwork may become lost, stolen, defaced, or damaged beyond repair. The York Art Association's Plein Air Piano Project is not responsible for any damage that may occur.

  • Pianos will be on display from approximately June 21 thru September 30.  At the end of the outdoor installation, the pianos may be moved to various indoor locations before being moved to SUNY Fredonia to be stripped so a new canvas may be created for the following year.  

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