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Six Corners 'People Space' Has A Public Piano, And It's Gorgeous

By Alex Nitkin | June 19, 2017 5:41am
 The installation, titled "Swan Song," will remain in front of Josie's Frozen Yogurt Cafe, 4032 N. Milwaukee Ave., until December.
Six Corners 'People Space' Has A Public Piano, And It's Gorgeous
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CHICAGO — Even if you don't hear the baby grand piano now sitting in the middle of the Six Corners Shopping District, odds are that you'll see it.

The Six Corners Association re-opened its "people space" this month featuring a baby grand piano decorated by mural artist Tony Passero, inviting passersby to sit and play a tune.

The chunk of parking spaces in front of Josi's Frozen Yogurt Cafe, 4032 N. Milwaukee Ave., had already included the piano, donated by Topher Allan Music, during its trial run as a marked-off pedestrian area last summer.

But this year, the association commissioned Passero to trick out the instrument in his trademark psychedelic style. Titled "Swan Song," the design lays white birds on top of eye-popping flower and mosaic patterns.

"Usually pianos are these perfectly regal things, so I wanted to do something a little different," Passero said. "I didn't want to go for anything classical, so I went with a pun, and gave it a sort of Island feel."

Six Corners' growing gallery of public sculptures and murals — including multiple works by Passero — create a sense of "place-making" with social and economic benefits, association president Kelli Wefenstette said.

"We're inviting people to experience a street they may have known for their whole life, but to use it in a totally new way," Wefenstette said. "On the ground level, it's just beautiful, but it's also something that helps you build relationships with businesses and people who are also sharing that space."

The "people space" will remain in place until December, Wefenstette said.