Street Pianos Back in Boston

The Street Pianos are back in Boston, bringing a sense of community among strangers.

Sixty pianos decorated by local artists have been placed outside in every Boston neighborhood for passersby to enjoy through Oct. 10.

"Across every city, there are invisible communities. A piano like that can act as a way of breaking down those barriers and getting people talking," said Luke Jerram, creator of the art installment, "Play Me, I'm Yours."

The British artist launched his Street Pianos concept in 2008. Since then, 1,500 pianos have made it to 50 cities worldwide. This is the second time they've come to Boston, the first in 2013, sponsored by the Celebrity Series of Boston.

"Every piano's got the word 'play me I'm yours' on it. That's an invitation that these pianos belong to you and your community," Jerram said.

Before the pianos were placed outside, they were in a warehouse in Boston's Seaport, canvases for professional and amateur artists to express themselves.

"I've worked with cars and bikes and boats and now, gee, I get to use a piano as raw material," said William Turville, a sculptor and architect.

Turville turned his piano into an instrument road case. Others feature henna art, the Citgo sign, even a rainforest.

"It's important that we make art as welcoming as possible. Because it can be intimidating for some people who think they have to know something in order to experience it," said Gary Dunning, the president and executive director of Celebrity Series.

The pianos will be tuned every two to three days, and plastic tarps are left at each piano for passersby to cover if it rains. After Oct. 10, pianos that weathered the elements will be donated to community centers.

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