Invitation to Artists – MDA Piano Project 2021

The Public Art Team of the Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA) invites artists to propose design ideas for decorating one of three upright pianos to be installed temporarily in the downtown area for public playing during the spring/summer of 2021.

Project Goals:

The decorated pianos are being commissioned to enliven the downtown with an artistic intervention and provide people with a public amenity for their enjoyment and entertainment. This will be the second time for the pianos to be installed downtown, but the first time they will be decorated by artists.

In this ever-changing environment, the Public Art Team recognizes the tremendous impact of COVID-19 on everyone. We hope that this effort will help to uplift the spirit of the community.

Project Details:

The pianos will be available for decoration at a designated downtown site, with the option for scheduled work sessions at mutually agreed upon dates and times, which would be advertised and open to the public for observation. Materials must hold up in an outdoor environment for several months with varying temperature and humidity conditions, and can include paint, collage, added attachments, etc. There is a possibility piano installation sites may have an overhead cover, but this has not been confirmed. The MDA reserves the right to relocate the decorated pianos to unprotected sites, so appropriate material selections should be made accordingly.

Budget Description:

Three artists will be selected for an all-inclusive budget award of $500/each—half available upon the artist’s acceptance of the commission, and the remaining half upon completion of the project. Budget awards to include all project related costs, including artist and design fees, public work sessions, travel/meetings, materials and supplies, insurance, labor, equipment, fabrication, & installation.

Selection Process

Artist selection by the MDA Public Art Team. Three artists will be selected, and notified by April 30. Each artist will be required to sign an agreement to the terms of the project before work can commence. No previous public art experience required; artists of all career levels and locations are welcome to apply.


April 23 – Applications Due
April 30 – Notification of Artist Selection
May 3 – Agreement awarded to selected artists
May 14 – Design proposal due for final design acceptance
May 21 – MDA notification of final design acceptance
May 22 – June 18 – Piano decoration
June 25 or 26 – Public celebration of project

Application Requirements:

  • Name/Address/E-mail/Phone Number/Website
  • Updated Resume and/or CV
  • Three digital images of artist’s work (each jpeg 72 dpi and 1200 pixels at its widest), including artist’s name, date, dimensions, medium & location (if appropriate)
  • A brief written description of design proposal and materials (with conceptual design sketches, if that will strengthen the application)
  • A brief general estimated budget breakdown

How to Apply:

Email submissions (due 4/23) and any questions to:

About Metuchen MDA Public Art: