Colorado State University Professor of Animal Sciences Temple Grandin has received many accolades, honors, and awards throughout her career both for her innovations in animal handling techniques and her autism advocacy. Now, Grandin is being honored yet again, this time in a very Fort Collins way. Visitors to and residents of Fort Collins have probably seen the colorful and uniquely-painted pianos throughout Old Town, and soon these pianos will be joined by one painted in honor of Grandin.
Starting on Wednesday, March 9, artists Nick, Henry and Paul Covey will begin painting the piano in the Curfman Gallery in the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus.
Seeing her profound passion for animals
“Grandin is a rare human being, who — like Fossey, Goodall, Galdikas, and others — has devoted her life and work to serving as ambassador to and for our fellow creatures,” said Henry Covey. “As we approach the Temple Grandin Piano, much like first approaching Grandin’s work, we start to see in steps her profound passion for animals and deep scientific curiosity at play around every corner.”
When Henry Covey first reached out to Grandin about the project, he found that she was both curious and enthusiastic about having a piano painted in her honor. Covey
shared designs with her and sought her input as the project neared final approval.
“Having a piano painted in my honor is certainly one of the more unique recognitions I have received in my life,” said Grandin. “I am delighted to be connected to the Pianos about Town group here in Fort Collins, and I think it is wonderful that the piano will be painted in a space that is both accessible to and frequently visited by CSU students.”
Watch the artists create the piano mural
Visitors to the Lory Student Center on campus will be able to see the artists creating the piano mural. The artists painting schedule will vary, with the piano mural expected to be completed by Wednesday, March 23. The artists will also chat with faculty, staff, students and community members who are interested in the work.
“The LSC was a natural choice for this exhibition,” said Lance Wright, director of campus activities. “This space offers a highly-visible and well-trafficked place to showcase the artists and the project, and the LSC allows for visitors to play an interactive role in this project.”
Pianos about Town
The Temple Grandin piano will be the 67th piano painted as part of the Piano About Town program. Donated pianos are provided to local artists, who work to publically transform the pianos into visual art. Once completed, the pianos take on their new status as interactive public art.
The Pianos about Town program began in 2010 as a collaboration between Bohemian Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, the City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program, business owners and community members. Over the past six years 66 pianos have been displayed in 20 different locations during the summer months and across six locations during the winter. For more information on the project, visit the Pianos About Town website and Facebook page.