The piano painted by artist Deryk Houston and his young helpers at Monterey middle school. It will be among those dotting the Oak Bay landscape as public art.

Pianos invite you to express yourself

Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams can’t wait for the first #OBpaintedpiano selfie

Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams can’t wait for the first #OBpaintedpiano selfie.

The hashtag’s premature perhaps, but the pianos are at the ready, freshly tuned last week and put in place this week for flash mobs, wedding proposals, or impromptu concerts.

Adams scoured online listings in search of pianos to have artists paint for placement in the public this summer and even got one donated. Then the three instruments were sent to local schools where artists worked alongside students to complete the artwork.

“I wanted the kids to be part of it,” said Adams, a former Monterey school arts teacher. “They’re not afraid of art.”

At Monterey Middle school, where Adams developed a thriving arts program, Deryk Houston painted a piano and allowed students to sign their name.

“The students took a few days to realize why a piano was being painted, then not only did it draw interest, but the artist, Deryk Houston, was engaging with the students and their intrigue with him as a story teller in paint,” said Monterey principal Judy Harrison.

It didn’t take long for the musically inclined students to discover the completed colourful piano in the foyer.

“I was delightedly disturbed when I heard students playing a few melodies as they came or went through the doors,” Harrison said. “This summer, I hope to catch some of our students visiting it again at the sea.”

Houston’s work on the piano is called “Imagine” and it will be stationed at Oliver Street and Beach Drive.

Robert Amos’ “Sub Quercu Felicitas” (from the Oak Bay coat of arms) painted alongside kids from Oak Bay High will be stationed at Oak Bay Avenue and Foul Bay Road. Crystal Heath’s “Boom Box” will be at Willows beach on the esplanade, not far from Willows elementary where she did her work with young students.

“You’ve got two months, use them,” Adams said, in essence firing the starting pistol.


What hashtag will you use to tweet your selfie? Let us know by email at



Just Posted

Oak Bay High washes cars for kids

Annual Tour de Rock fundraising car wash hits the lot Saturday at Oak Bay High

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Artists engage as Oak Bay Arts and Culture Fortnight continues

Saturday features walking, bus tours of painted pianos

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Reader photos: Greater Victoria’s hazy skies

Lingering smoke from wildfires contributed to the province issuing a smoky skies bulletin

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read