"Janssen" at Chastain Park
Artist: Sergey Cherep
Piano Donation: The Brett Family
Location: Chastain Park
Find and play Janssen in the pavilion next to the playground. (Dudley Lane and W. Wieuca Rd.)
Janssen was the first piano installed by 'Play Me Again Pianos' and it was a labor of love. He was the piano in our home and, at the time, was serving its third generation of our family. When it became time for our son to graduate to a higher quality instrument, we took the opportunity to use our family piano to begin our quest to install "permanent" public pianos throughout our community.
The amazing artist who painted Janssen, Sergey Cherep, is a family friend. When we explained what we wanted to do he was fully onboard from the beginning. He didn't start painting right away though. We needed to find a place to host the piano first. Sergey wanted to be sure the concept suited the environment the piano would be living in.
We found what we thought would be the perfect location for a public piano in Sandy Springs, and we still believe it would be perfect, but issues unrelated to our project prevented the city from considering it at that time. Thankfully, however, the individuals we were working with were advocates for our vision, and word got to the Chastain Park Conservancy about our project at the same time they were nearing the end of a multimillion dollar renovation of their playground. Not only did the new playground have a music component to it , it also had a brand new pavilion! When the Conservancy reached out to us inquiring about the piano we were thrilled at the prospect of being part of their renovation.
So armed with pictures of the destination location in hand, and a couple of his own paintings for inspiration, Sergey set to work on painting the piano in our dining room. There was sanding, priming, painting in many layers, and multiple coats of sealer involved. Six months later we had a three dimensional work of art on our hands. I can't imagine we'll ever have a piano more breathtaking than this one, or closer to our hearts.
Where did the name 'Janssen' come from? It's actually the brand name of the piano as well as a surname in our family. Our son started piano lessons at five years old and we named the piano during one of his practice sessions--long before we ever imagined that we'd be involved with public pianos.
-- Jason and Kelly Brett
About Sergey Cherep
"The technique of painting that I have embraced is definitely the Post Impressionism style made famous by Van Gogh", says Sergey. "I love the simplicity of colors and energy found in his work. The bold, unrealistic colors and expressive brushstrokes of my predecessors are my tool as I try to bring a three-dimensional feeling out from the paintings by using color, perspective and a thick texture. My paintings are like fairy tales -- a dream place. I don't see things as realistic. I allow the fantastic to happen. When I travel and paint, the sun, the grapes and smell of California speaks to me. But anything can motivate me -- a picture, a cut watermelon, or even a color." For more information, visit sergeycherep.com.
Janssen's Birthdate: March 19th, 2016
Share Your Janssen Stories
If you have a story with Janssen 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.