Painted Piano Project at UTSC

SoundLife would like to thank all those who submitted a proposal!

Meet the winners:

Connie Lin

UTSC Alumni

Artist bio

My name is Connie Lin and I recently completed my degree this August. While my degree is in computer science, I have always had a passion for the visual arts. As a result, I spent much of my time at UTSC studying the intersection of technology and art through topics like user interfaces and user experience, and computer graphics. Although I do not have a formal education in the arts, I believe studying digital design has helped me develop an eye for aesthetics and practical design. This public piano project interests me because it is an unique opportunity for me to apply my technical knowledge of digital design to a physical object. This project is also a nice opportunity for me to give back to the community which has given me so much love and support over the last few years.

Artist Statement

My design is inspired by the parks and nature walks both on campus and throughout Scarborough. The upper half of the front of the piano will feature the white cliffs of the Scarborough Bluffs. The Bluffs are on of Scarborough’s iconic natural landmarks along Lake Ontario. On the bottom half, I will take advantage of the shadow cast by the keyboard and paint various shrubs and small animals to mimic undergrowth in a forest. The sides will feature various animals in their local habitat. On the back, I plan to paint individual plants and animals labeled with their names to further highlight the biodiversity in Scarborough inspired by vintage science illustrations, assuming the back of the piano will be visible. As for style, I will be taking a colorful, somewhat painterly approach.

Sara Goel

UTSC Undergraduate Student

Artist bio

I am Sara Goel, a 17-year-old, raised in Surrey, BC. I have essentially practiced art since I was five years old, and in 2021 I started working as an assistant art teacher at a local fine arts school. Moreover, I have been playing a variety of instruments since I was ten years old, including the piano. I desire to major in Neuroscience at UTSC, despite having a deep affinity for the arts. I made an effort to include aspects of the fine  arts in all of my work in an effort to stay true to the things I love. I strive diligently to carve out a unique path for myself while also coming up with novel ways to assist others, whether that be by treating a neurological disorder or by simply putting a smile on their faces. After all, Albert Einstein once said, “The greatest scientists are artists as well.”

Artist Statement

The idea of moving to a new city, let alone to the opposite side of the nation, terrified me because I had lived all of my life in Vancouver. I was afraid because I would have to adjust to a completely new way of life. However, through my piece, I wanted to demonstrate how Scarborough has a quality that not many other locations have: the capacity to bring people together as a single entity. We often ignore the little details that can make unfamiliar locations feel like home, despite the fact that life may be vastly different there. I was so homesick on my first night in Scarborough. But that night, the sunset I saw made me feel at home. I felt secure and at ease just because of how much the area reminded me of Vancouver. I wanted to provide a piece that would demonstrate how Scarborough has both unique and intimate characterisitcs which intertwine to create a feeling of belonging. This design depicts the sunset I witnessed at Harmony Commons and the diversity in Scarborough, with a small allusion to the Scarborough Shooting Stars as basketball is a shared interest of people of Vancouver and Scarborough. Scarborough’s population is so diversified, giving the city the opportunity to accept everyone, which is quite rare in today’s world. From domestic to international students, Scarborough serves as a conduit for people to develop while still being able to hold on to aspects of their home lives.

The Project

Public pianos can be found around the world in easily discoverable spaces for all to enjoy (e.g.,subway stations, parks, sidewalks, etc). Thanks to the Department of Arts, Culture and Media, SoundLife Scarborough has acquired acoustic pianos that are ready to be moved to accessible indoor/outdoor spaces across campus to be played by all who wish to through all seasons of the year. Before we move the pianos, however, we are seeking artists with awesome design ideas who can paint them. 

The Theme: Reflecting Scarborough

Let’s face it – Scarborough is pretty awesome. Your design should draw inspiration from the community of which UTSC is a part. You might focus on one element for which Scarborough is known or multiple threads that reflect the complex fabric that makes Scarborough an amazing place to be

Winning Proposals

The winning proposals will be selected by the SoundLife Scarborough team and representatives of our amazing supporters. Each winner will receive $500 for supplies and an honorarium of $250, with the artist’s name added to the artwork with bio and artist statement placed on each instrument for the duration of the project. Dedicated workspace in the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre tech lab will be made available to complete the project. 

Our Partners

• Department of Arts, Culture and Media
• U of T Scarborough Healthy Campus
• U of T Scarborough Facilities Management