Pianos on State 2023
Piano Painter Application is Closed
We hope you will apply next year.
PIANOS ON STATE is an interactive public art and music experience that takes place each October. We are excitedly getting ready for our 14th year in downtown Santa Barbara!
Each piano becomes its own interactive piece of art as painted by local artists. The pianos are displayed on designated pads along State Street for the public to play. Every year piano-painting at the Community Arts Workshop is a weekend of artists of all styles and stripes rubbing shoulders, trading tips and information, and making art together.
As a public art program, this is an opportunity for emerging and professional artists alike to showcase their work through a unique project. Individual artists and collaborative teams are both eligible, though teams must use one application.
How It Works
Each artist or artist team painting a piano will be given a $500 stipend to purchase materials of their choice for a designated piano. All pianos will be provided and transported by the Pianos on State team. Space to paint the pianos will be provided at CAW. Participating artists will be recognized on the Pianos on State Street website, piano banners, and all other marketing and publicity materials.
Pianos on State exists to foster a sense of community, connection, and shared humanity. Piano designs should be suitable for all ages and apolitical. Advertising, political lobbying, copyrighted images, hate speech and profanity are prohibited.
To ensure the longevity of the artwork, loose materials like glitter and sand cannot be included in the design.
This project is open to artists living and working in Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties.
As a public art program, this is an opportunity for emerging and professional artists alike to showcase their work through a unique project. Individual artists and small collaborative teams are both eligible, though teams must use one application.
In order to accommodate new painters preference will be given to artists who have not previously painted a piano, or to artists who have not painted a piano in several years. If you were a piano-painter in the immediately preceding year (2022), the selection committee will likely pass on your submission in 2023 in order to give new artists, or artists who have not participated in some time, a chance.
If you participated in 2022, please apply again in 2024! If you participated in 2021 or earlier, please apply this year! We love having veteran piano artists back, but we also want to give new artists a chance.
To Submit, Please Include:
Three digital examples of your artwork design.
Two digital examples of past artwork.
One paragraph stating your concept and why you are interested in participating in the project.
The application deadline is now closed. We hope you will apply next year. Painting will take place at the Community Arts Workshop (CAW) located at 631 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, September 29 - October 1 between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
There will be a special party for piano artists and sponsors Monday night October 2nd.
Pianos will make their debut on State Street on Tuesday, October 3 and will be on display through Sunday, October 22. Pianos will be available for musical exploration, impromptu play and group performances from 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. for the duration of their display on State Street. Amateur, professional and public musicians alike are invited to sit down and play.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PIANOS ON STATE is a collaborative experience between local organizations:
Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, the City of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Downtown Santa Barbara, the Children's Creative Project, and more.
Some Videos from Previous Years of POS:
A video produced by the Santa Barbara Bowl in 2012, explaining Pianos on State's history and purpose.
Pianos on State 2020 — an extraordinary year.
An example of one of the many spontaneous videos posted to YouTube by artists. In this instance, pop-violinist Lindsey Sterling had just finished a show at SOHO, and she and her band wandered out to State Street late at night and found the piano on the corner of State and Victoria. This is the video of what happened next.