Lynchburg, VA - New artwork is coming to downtown Lynchburg from local high schools.
This summer, "Keys for the Hill City," a public art project, will scatter pianos-turned-art along Main Street. Five area high schools are a part of this project.
Each school received a piano a few weeks ago and ever since, the art classes have worked to transform their instrument into a work of art.
Jon Roark has taught art at Heritage High School for nearly ten years. He said he was thrilled to take on this project and loved seeing the students work together to come up with their theme: The Beatles.
"I love watching them succeed, I think probably the moment that really gratifies a teacher is when the light goes on for them," said Roark.
Nearly twenty students have been working on the Heritage High School piano for the past few weeks. For them, it's important to have their art in the spotlight.
"Leaving a little bit of yourself here for everyone to witness," said Ricardo Garcia who is a senior at Heritage High School.
I believe that Lynchburg is a hidden gem," added Garcia.
Lynchburg Resident Libby Fitzgerald brought the idea before the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities after seeing pianos in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
"It was magical, it was wonderful to see and I thought no reason we can't do this in Lynchburg," said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald found five pianos to donate. She says it's important for the youth of the city to be involved.
"To be able to show case the talent of these young people which is tremendous," said Fitzgerald.
She thinks the public art display will bring anything from tourists to musician's downtown.
"Hopefully we'll have more and more of it downtown here to me it's just a beautiful thing. I think it lifts us up out of the every dayness of our lives and brings a new dimension to them and hopefully that's what it will do for downtown," said Fitzgerald.
VES, Brookville, Jefferson Forest, and EC Glass got pianos as well. All five pianos will remain on display along Main Street from the Holiday Inn to the Community Market from the first Friday in May into the fall. If you are interested in learning more about the piano project, you can read it here.