There are just two pianos this year—the organizers are calling it a “micro-event” (pre-COVID, in 2019, thirteen pianos adorned the greater Seattle area). Both the 2021 installations occupy Issaquah Highlands’s Grand Ridge Plaza shopping district; you can find a grand piano east of the Regal Issaquah Highlands multiplex and an upright piano north of Marshalls.
True to tradition, local artists decorated both instruments. Soo Hong painted the grand with a cacophony of abstract color separated by thick black stripes. Priyanka Parmanand transformed the upright into an underwater seascape.
Everyone is invited to make music with these pianos (hand-sanitizing stations are provided for use before and after). The pianos, donated by Classic Pianos, have already been auctioned off, and the $1,750 proceeds will fund cancer research at UW Medicine. In September the pianos will move inside to live with their new owners after enjoying these few days of fresh air.
If you find yourself in Issaquah, make a detour and tickle the ivories! We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to enjoy outdoor pianos in Seattle this year, but all things considered, we’re just happy that something is happening with Pianos in the Parks this year—and we’re thrilled that they plan to return to normal in 2022.