Part One of “Free the Street Piano,” in which there is a subtle public protest outside.


With Hannegan Rosebarry’s street piano returning yet again to the Board of Public Works and Safety agenda on Tuesday morning, artist Michael Wimmer conceived a public art protest of the public art captivity, and created his own street piano out of scrap materials.

As you can see from the photo above, when I arrived on the scene at 9:30 a.m., Michael’s piano was in place on the plaza in front of the City-County building’s front entrance. The News and Tribune’s photographer was snapping shots.

David Duggins emerged from the front entrance. The city’s corporate welfare bursar walked toward us, said hello to everyone except me, continued walking on the sidewalk, and made a loop to the building’s Spring Street entrance.

Moments later, out came the building authority’s head supervisor, who informed Michael that if he wanted the piano to remain on the public plaza, as opposed to the public sidewalk ten feet away, he’d have to obtain — wait for it — the Board of Public Works and Safety’s approval.

Not wanting to subject himself to a six-week rejection process, Michael rolled the piano to the sidewalk, then after a few minutes, he repositioned it on the south side of the plaza-sidewalk intersection. It was at this point that I  glanced toward the entrance to the sheriff’s department and saw a hologram. ‬

The mayor spotted me leveling a camera in his direction, and by the time I squeezed the shutter, all I saw was his back.

Michael stayed streetside with his creation when the meeting started at 10:00 a.m., and he said that he’d be wheeling “Free the Street Piano” around during the next few days. It’s intended to be inter-active, so you can sign it and leave comments. Here’s a good one: “Regime Change Now.”

Part two is here.