Where Did The Piano Keys Come From?

Jul 27, 2018

Piano keys were painted within the crosswalk lines on Center and Main in Logan.
Credit Wendi Hassan

  


Walking down Main Street in Logan, I noticed something odd about the center street crosswalk. Getting closer, I noticed it had piano keys painted from one sidewalk to the other. I like to keep tabs on the art in Logan, but I had never heard from anyone that painted them.

 

So I decided to give Wendi Hassan a visit, the executive director of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts, to see if she had any idea where these piano keys came from.

 

“I have seen the piano keys on the crosswalk, she said. "I saw those and thought it would be fun to do chopsticks on them, [like in Big,] but I don’t know if that’s very safe on a crosswalk. I thought it was really amazing. They did that on the opening week of Opera. Just as they were getting all those shows going. I have no idea where they came from, but I would love to know Owen, I would love to know who did that.”

 

She mentioned they appeared on the opening week of Utah Festival Opera’s 2018 season, so I contacted Michael Ballam to see if he knew anything. He told me that when they appeared, he assumed Mayor Holly Daines did it. So he thanked her, but to his surprise, she had no idea either, only adding to the mystery.

 

Wendi Hassan also told me Gary Saxton from the Logan Downtown Alliance might have a clue where they came from, so I gave his office a visit.

 

"It was a project that Logan Downtown Alliance did, as part of some street art for downtown," he said. "Actually, it was Logan City street department, but it was me who gave them the stencils that I had made.”

 

Saxton got permission from the Utah Department Of Transportation to do the piano keys during the Logan City Limits Music Art and Film Festival. The paint will last about a year, but Saxton says they plan to keep reapplying them every year for as long as they can. They also plan to paint more crosswalks, with other piano keys in the arts areas, and a few other designs as well.

 

“There’s hopscotch, there’s fish swimming in a stream bed, there’s footprints in the sand. Once you start considering what’s possible, then boy, it really opens up the palate for a lot of ideas,” Saxton said.