Just keep painting… or is it just keep swimming? Either way the message rings true with us as we enter the home stretch of our in-residence project and fundraising effort: Painting the Piano. Our dedicated artist, Charleen continues to visit the shop weekly to paint every square inch of the piano. She skillfully maps out geometric patterns with a pencil and ruler that will later be filled in with any unknown and exciting combination of color. In between brush strokes Charleen visits with customers. Some are learning about the project for the first time, others are fans that have made it a point to visit on a regular basis to follow her progress.
Nearly all who learn about it are thrilled by the idea. They can’t wait to see how it turns out and they love that we are trying to raise funds for our local arts council. Surprisingly however, their enthusiasm usually ends just shy of actually buying a raffle ticket. I have been dismayed and baffled by how many people show true interest in what’s happening here but stop short of handing over a five dollar bill. They inevitably say something that boils down to “I don’t need or want a piano”. I continue to shake it off and try to turn it around by offering to help them find a good home for the piano in the off-chance that they do win.
In all my efforts to plan and prepare for this project, I have to admit that I did not foresee the dilemma that would result from offering such a physically large raffle prize. More than that, I find myself puzzled by self-declared fans of the project that refuse to pony up because they might win something as large as a piano. I’m left inwardly scratching my head wondering how I could miss this in all of my planning. And just in case I wasn’t beating myself up enough for not seeing this challenge coming, there has even been one person who had to put voice to my harshest inner-pessimist and tell me in no uncertain terms that the entire thing was a bad idea from the word go. Needless to say, they didn’t buy any tickets either.
Do I let this stop me? Not for a second. Why? Because I’m not in junior high anymore and I try not to pay any mind to people who just don’t get it. We press on, we send out more press releases, we keep smiling and we keep telling anyone that will listen about this lovely idea of ours! Because it is a good idea. Because it has been a joy watching Charleen transform this piano into a truly original piece of art. Because our idea is original and our intentions are sincere. Because it is awesome.
So, I understand if someone doesn’t want to win a piano and I of course understand if they just don’t have the cash to spare… but I hope they won’t take it personally if I don’t let that stop me and I look past them for the next person that might buy in. Because I have a fundraising promise to fulfill, an artist’s commitment to honor and a thousand tickets to sell. Like our blog title states… we are having adventures in figuring it out as we go, and this endeavor is no exception.