Nicaraguan-born, NYC-Based Artist Particpates in Sixth Anniversary of the Largest Annual Public Arts Project in the United States
Sing for Hope Pianos are Back on the Streets of NYC from June 5-25!
NEW YORK, June 2017 — Sing for Hope is bringing its renowned Sing for Hope Pianos back to the streets of New York City this summer. From June 5-25, as a celebration of the work Sing for Hope does in communities year-round, 60 Sing for Hope Pianos are placed in parks and public spaces in high traffic locations across all five boroughs in New York for anyone and everyone to play.
Internationally renowned visual artist Franck de las Mercedes joined “Sing for Hope Pianos” this year to paint a brightly colored piano inspired by his childhood memories of Nicaragua, his experience as an immigrant in the US and the vibrant New York City backdrop.
“My piano incorporates playful imagery that celebrates diversity, through wildlife and flora found in the American continent; also drawing from the expressive spirit of NYC’s urban landscape. I wanted to bring the “Guardabarranco”, a bird native of Nicaragua and the American eagle of the USA, and place them in the same habitat of national flowers of various countries, as a symbol of understanding, unity and coexistence,” said Franck de las Mercedes.
A resident of Washington Heights, Franck de las Mercedes’ Sing for Hope piano titled “Animalitos and Flowers” will be on view this Summer from June 6-25!
Inwood Hill Park
Seamen Avenue & Isham Street, New York, NY
At the Isham Ave entrance. Hours: Dawn to dusk
The 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos have been designed by artists including Kate McKinnon, Roberta Flack, Billy the Artist, the Broadway casts of Aladdin, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Waitress, and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 — and many more. This summer will mark the sixth anniversary of the Sing for Hope Pianos with the placement of the 400th artist-designed piano to date, making NYC host to more street pianos than any other city in the world.
About Sing for Hope
Sing for Hope transforms lives by mobilizing artists in service to bring the power of the arts to those who need it most. Through the volunteer service of dedicated artists, Sing for Hope provides creative programming to under-resourced communities across NYC and beyond. Sing for Hope’s programs include collaborative concerts for hospital patients, after-school arts classes for at-risk youth, and its flagship public art initiative: The Sing for Hope Pianos. Sing for Hope is defined by the volunteerism of artists, the needs of the community, and the belief in the transformative power of the arts. Founded in 2006, Sing for Hope is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. More information can be found at www.SingforHope.org.
After the two-week public exhibition, the instruments are donated to the NYC organizations Sing for Hope serves year round, allowing the pianos to enrich lives for years to come. While their time on the streets is a joyful event for our city, the Sing for Hope Pianos’ true impact lies in their service as ongoing cornerstones of arts access for communities and individuals in need. As NYC’s largest public art project, the Sing for Hope Pianos impacts an estimated 2 million New Yorkers and visitors each year.
About the Artist
Franck de las Mercedes lives and works in New York City. His body of work includes painting and collage in which he combines abstract figuration, journal entry, and hieroglyphic-like text, in energetic abstractions bursting with color. In Franck’s paintings, childhood memories in war-torn Nicaragua and his upbringing as an immigrant in the US, are extracted and combined with fragments of current events, family dynamics and books. Exploring the contrast between memory and present-day cultural context, Franck creates scenes of an emotionally charged urban landscape.
In 2006, de las Mercedes achieved international acclaim with his conceptual art project “The Priority Boxes.” A public project conceived as a way to promote peace through participatory free art. The project has been adapted as a teaching tool for educators, community centers and art therapy counselors across the US.
Recent exhibitions include, The 5th Bronx Latin American Art Biennial, Queens Museum, BronxArtSpace, The Joan Mitchel Foundation, The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt New York, The NY Museum of Modern Art’s “Abstract Currents”, Sing for Hope Piano 2015, BKLYN Designs, Naples Museum of Art, Folklore Museum of Tripotamos Greece, The National College of Ireland, Ireland and The French Institute Alliance Française. His work is also a part of the Fundación Francisco de Quevedo’s permanent collection in Ciudad Real, Spain.
Images courtesy of FdlMstudio.