“Ekphrasis” at the Alpharetta Arts Center

Ekphrasis Story Pic cropped.jpeg

Artist Mentor:  Deanna Sirlin

Artists: Alpharetta Art Apprentices

Kayla Barbee, Cole Gabriel, Thea Genet, Ellie Hegwood, Aaila Khan and Kaia Lee.

Piano Donor:  City of Alpharetta

Location:  Alpharetta Arts Center

Find and play Ekphrasis on the porch of the Arts Center.


We are so excited to be a part of the City of Alpharetta’s vision of a community filled with music and arts. The new arts center is a powerful testament to this commitment. We’re proud to continue our amazingly successful partnership with this 22nd piano in the Play Me Again Pianos family, and our very first public baby grand piano!  It’s a beautiful design and we can’t wait to hear the music the community creates here.

Ekphrasis joins four others, Flannery (at Cogburn Road Park), Oscar (at Rock Mill Park), Morgan (at the Wills Park Equestrian Center) and Barry (at Webb Bridge Park) as neighborhood pianos in Alpharetta. Originally donated to the City of Alpharetta by Sam Bennett of PianoWorks in Duluth, the piano was then donated by the city to Play Me Again Pianos to help grow the public piano program in the city.

Renowned artist Deanna Sirlin mentored participants of the City of Alpharetta Cultural Services High School Apprenticeship Program through the design and paint process for the piano.  The city sponsors the program as part of their overall vision for integrating art throughout the city. There have been six art apprentices involved in the project, Kayla Barbee, Cole Gabriel, Thea Genet, Ellie Hegwood, Aaila Khan and Kaia Lee.  “It has been my pleasure to mentor the Art Apprentices for the City of Alpharetta,” said Deanna. “I am proud to have these young artists be part of my studio.”

The name Ekphrasis was chosen by Deanna for its inspiration.  Though typically the word ekphrasis refers to a written work inspired by visual art, great works of art inspire creativity of all sorts and all involved in the project anticipate beautiful music to be inspired by the artwork on the new public piano. 

Morgan Rodgers, the City of Alpharetta recreation, parks and cultural services director is pleased with the growth of the arts in the city.  Morgan noted, “Having the baby grand at the arts center is fitting because the architectural style of the building has always been described as looking like a grand piano.”

Deanna Sirlin
Deanna Sirlin received an MFA from Queens College, CUNY. She has received numerous honors, including a Rothko Foundation Symposium Residency, a grant from the United States State Department, a Yaddo Foundation Residency and a Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Award for its Art Writing Mentorship Program. She has been an Artist in Residence at the Padies Foundation, Lempaut, France, and for the City of Nuremberg, Germany. Sirlin has had solo exhibitions at The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Venice, Italy; The Centre for Recent Drawing, London, UK; Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center; and M55art in NYC. Her work has been commissioned for exhibitions at The New Orleans Museum of Art and The Georgia Museum; she was invited by Pawel Althamer to part be of his exhibition at the New Museum, NYC. Sirlin's work has been written about in The London Telegraph Sunday Magazine, Art in America, International Art News, Art Papers Magazine, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Digital Art, Southern Living Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, Catalyst Magazine, and Flavourpill Magazine/London. Her book, She’s Got What It Takes: American Women Artists in Dialogue was published by Charta Art Books, Milan, Italy and NYC in 2013. Sirlin lives and works outside of Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit www.DeannaSirlin.com.

Alpharetta Arts Center
Experience the Arts at our 10,000 sq. ft. Arts Center featuring state of the art amenities: multiple visual arts, clay, digital media and black-box theater studios; gallery exhibits and art events. The Arts Center offers classes and workshops for children, teens and adults. Choose from ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, cartooning, theater, music, creative writing and more. For more information, visit www.Alpharetta.GA.US/Arts.

Ekphrasis's Birthdate: August 24th, 2019
Installation #22

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