Gallery 204 owner Shelley Garries sits down at the City of Langley’s newest community art piece — a piano. The instrument will be on sidewalk at 20436 Fraser Highway throughout the summer for passersby to share a song. Garries also plans to paint a colourful design on the piano with a group of her young art students from her studio.

A new beat in the City’s streets

Gallery 204 and RDM Enterprises set up a new street piano in the City of Langley

“Play me, I’m yours.”

Those instructions, carefully printed on a tall black sign beside an old piano on the one-way section of Fraser Highway, were enough to entice several pedestrians to take a seat and share a melody or two on Friday afternoon.

It was the second day that artist Shelley Garries, owner of Gallery 204, and her father, Ron, owner of RDM Enterprises, had tested their new street piano in the City of Langley.

Similar to the piano artist Rosemary Wallace had outside of her former studio, Freedom Arts Collective, Garries hopes to fill the City with live music on a whim.

“We loved when Rosemary had her piano out and we want to continue that,” Garries said.

“It’s something fun to kick off summer.”

The upright piano was donated by Sue Perell and her family, and although it is a plain brown colour now, will soon receive a new look.

Garries is working on a bold design, and will be painting the piano this summer with her art students from her studio.

In recent years, street pianos have become a welcome sound in cities around the world. First popularized by British artist Luke Jarram through the “Play me, I’m yours” campaign in 2008, there are now more than 50 cities around the world that provide the free instrument — which often doubles as an eye-catching installation art piece — to those who are inclined to play.

Through Jarram’s program, which is one of many now established, there are more than 1,500 pianos that tour internationally, with hundreds of thousands of street songs played every year.

In Langley City, the piano will be available during the day for all to play outside of the RDM office at 20436 Fraser Hwy, weather permitting.

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