"Irving" at the Chamblee Rail Trail
Design: Kent Nulty
Piano Donation: Dan Thompson
Artists: The Chamblee Community
Location: The Chamblee Rail Trail
Find and play Irving on the Rail Trail under Clairmont Road near Peachtree Industrial Blvd behind the Chamblee Tucker Rd Wal-Mart.
We we thrilled when the City of Chamblee approached us about a piano, and when we saw the newly refurbished Rail Trail, we knew it was meant to be. But we did something with Irving that we've never done before.
With the two-day Rail Trail Makers Festival approaching, in an exciting new twist, the community was invited to paint the piano under the guidance of Kent Nulty, founder and Creative Director of ARTSCAPE!, who also created the design. At the end of the festival, Irving was presented to the public.
“I am very excited to be a part of the creative journey with Play Me Again Pianos,” said Kent. “I am honored to be able to share my gift of art with Play Me Again Pianos and the community."
The public helped to paint the stripes on Irving and fill in the 'Chamblee Rail Trail' lettering on the back of the piano. The community also filled in the triangle pattern on the knee board. The overlapping colorful shapes on the sides of the piano were a more 'free form' opportunity for the painters. They were guided to choose a shape and a color, and to continually overlap them resulting in the whimsical pattern you see today.
Irving was named for Chamblee’s Irvingdale Dairies, a part of the rich history of the once vibrant dairy farms that graced the rolling hills of the area in the early 20th century. Kent took inspiration from those dairies, a dairy cow specifically, for the black and white on Irving's legs, The wood planks on the back of the piano were inspired by train tracks in the city, and the yellow and white stripes on the front and top of the piano were inspired by the train image on the logo for the City of Chamblee. The number of stripes, six, represents that Irving was the sixth piano installed by Play Me Again Pianos. And there's a surprise painted on Irving, the next time you're there, peek under the bench!
“We’re thankful to Play Me Again Pianos and Artist Kent Nulty for their generous donations to the City of Chamblee,” said Jodie Gilfillan, Chamblee Director of Parks and Recreation. “Many cities commission works of art; we are so fortunate to have been given this gift. I love the idea of having a piano located under the Clairmont Bridge, not only does it highlight one of our newest assets with the Rail Trail, but I also believe the acoustics under the bridge are perfect for this art piece. I hope the piano-playing residents and visitors who pass by will entertain others while enjoying this linear park.”
Having the community help to paint Irving makes him a public piano in the truest sense of the word. We hope knowing that gives you an extra spark of joy the next time you stop by to play him.
About Kent Nulty
Local artist, Kent Nulty, was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia ready to create. At the age of four she already wanted to be an artist. On a four-year art scholarship, Kent graduated with a BA in graphic design from Notre Dame of Maryland University which laid the groundwork for her career as a graphic designer in the corporate marketing and advertising world.
But her love of art and the outdoors have always been a passion, and in 2009 Kent received a grant from the Georgia Grassroots Arts Program enabling her to found ARTSCAPE!. As the Creative Director she teaches art techniques and art history appreciation to children in an outdoor setting. Natural partners, ARTSCAPE! and Friends for the East Cobb Park have been working together the past several years to offer classes, workshops and camps at East Cobb Park in Marietta. For more information, visit artscapeatlanta.com.
About the City of Chamblee
Located just 14 miles from downtown Atlanta, Chamblee is a vibrant urban city with a diverse community and international flair. The City of Chamblee began as a small rail town and was incorporated in 1908. It has grown to more than seven square miles and nearly 30,000 residents. Chamblee is home to a heavy rail MARTA station, a historic downtown and Antique Row, the vibrant Buford Highway corridor, DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), the Centers for Disease Control and a thriving business community with a unique sense of entrepreneurship and optimism. Visit ww.chambleega.gov for more information.
Irving's Birthdate: April 23rd, 2017
Share Your Irving Stories
If you have a story with Irving that you'd like to share, please do so, we'd love to hear from you! We'd also enjoy seeing your pictures and videos.