On Friday, March 10th, community volunteers, government representatives and non-profits gathered at the Dunwoody Nature Center for the official ribbon cutting of the newly restored Wildcat Creek. This project was several years in the making and involved support from a variety of environmental organizations.
The Spruill Center for the Arts ‘played’ our part with the help of a very special group, Play Me Again Pianos. The faces behind the organization are the Brett’s, a local family committed to placing 88 pianos in public spaces around Atlanta. These pianos are painted by local artists and maintained by Play Me Again Pianos. When they began conversations with the Dunwoody Nature Center about installing a piano, they reached out to Spruill Arts for some concepts.
Instructor Kelly Thames-Mauldin created a wildlife scene that turned the piano into a forest, complete with animals found at the Nature Center. Yes, she’s great at painting, and kiln-formed glass! We’re so grateful for this renaissance woman! After the Brett’s brought the piano to the Education Center, Kelly went to work drafting, priming, painting and sealing the piano to be safe outside.
Late last year, Spruill Arts lost a long-time friend and supporter. Dick Bennett was a true artist in advertising, painting and sculpture. He gave his talents and time to this organization for over three decades. His wife, Sandra, is the former Executive Director of the Spruill Center. After his death, his family donated his hand-mixed paints to us and this was the perfect project to use them. As Kelly used the paints, Mr. Bennett’s style and spirit continued to shine through. It only seemed fitting to honor his memory through the name of the piano.
Friday’s Ribbon Cutting was a special culmination for the creek, Play Me Again Pianos and the Bennett family. The piano is now protected by a pavilion that was specially created as an Eagle Scout project. We hope that “Bennett” will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors to the Nature Center in the years to come.
As the weather warms up, be sure to visit and tag your photos with #PMAP #Bennett!