Uncovering the mystery of the covered piano in South Orange

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I was walking around South Orange (NJ) today, and noticed this covered grand piano on the street near the train station on South Orange Avenue. It seemed pretty odd that a grand piano would just be sitting there on the sidewalk, across the street from a gas station. (scroll down for more …)

covered piano as part of SOPAC's art piano project South Orange

A little bit of research allowed me to find out that it’s one of five outdoor pianos that were custom painted by artists as part of a program called “Playin’ Around South Orange,” which is sponsored by SOPAC and PNC Bank. From what I understand, this is an annual event at the end of each summer, where musicians and artists gather at each of the pianos to perform for the public simultaneously for one hour. This year’s kick-off event took place last weekend, and from what I can gather, continues on weekends through the month of September.

Since this piano is covered, I’m not sure what is under the wraps here, but I did find a picture of a previous year’s piano at this exact same location to give you an idea of what it might look like when it’s uncovered. This particular piano features an image of Ray Charles and was painted by artist Lawrence Ciarallo.

SOPAC piano project with Ray Charles image by Lawrence Ciarallo

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