First Look: Freshly Painted and Ready for “Chopsticks”

Last year the nonprofit organization Sing for Hope ( placed 60 donated pianos around the city for budding Bernsteins (or just inspired passersby) to play a tune. This year, the group will be mobilizing 88 grand, baby grand, and upright pianos around New York, each one a unique treasure that has been painted by an artist or designer. I stopped by an enormous loft space inside the Telephone Building in Tribeca last week to see the army of instruments before they were dispersed throughout the city this Saturday (the installations will continue through July 2). What could make you happier than stumbling across Isaac Mizrahi’s sparkly pink one, which he calls “Hello, Miss Piano.” Look for it in Greeley Square. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Each piano contains its own unlikely surprises, like this King Kong painting by NYC Arts Cypher. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The workspace was buzzing with activity. A piano tuner named Fred Patella was on site to adjust each and every one. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Artist Robert Baird calls his painted piano “Windows” and says it represents “each individual’s contribution to the community that is NYC.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

This gorgeous creation by artist Jen Mazer is inspired by South African tribal designs. “The Ndebele are known for their colorfully decorated homes and clothing,” she says. “This is my take on their traditional patterned designs that were believed to have sacred powers”much like the healing power of the music that will come from the piano.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

The heroines of Sing for Hope: founders Camille Zamora (left) and Monica Yunus, both opera singers with hearts as big as their voices. The pianos project is meant to raise awareness about the work Sing for Hope does throughout the year, bringing volunteer artists into schools, hospitals, and communities underexposed to the arts. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This piano was done by boys and girls from the Bushwick High School for Social Justice. No lack of imagination or optimism here! Photo: Wendy Goodman

Moira Fain’s piano looks like it came from the Wizard of Oz’s palace. Fain, however, says it represents “metals I have loved, Airstreams, and subway cars.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

Designer Diane Von Furstenberg contributed a classy version of the art piano. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Look familiar? This piano is by Scott Taylor, his fashion-designer wife Sylvia Heisel, and designer Doug Meyer, whose taped-up apartment most recently appeared on the cover of New York’s Design Issue. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This amazing pattern is one unbroken line filling the entire area of the piano. It was done by William Conray Lindsay, who wears squiggle designs and has painted his car with his squiggle signature. The continuous line is broken only for William to change pens. Photo: Wendy Goodman

First Look: Freshly Painted and Ready for “Chopsticks”