The City of Sanford Appearance Commission is making music interactive for residents and visitors in downtown Sanford by adding two street pianos to the Public Art Program.

Works of art themselves, the pianos have been hand painted by local artists. Reggie Carde brought his signature style with hieroglyphics influenced by nature. Shauna McNeil was also inspired by nature, painting a sunflower field.

Piano painted by Reggie Carde.
Piano painted by Shauna McNeil, which will be on display at the Temple Theatre through the end of its current season.

The street pianos are the result of a public-private partnership between the City of Sanford and the Lee County Arts Council, which established its first Artist-in-Residence program for the project. Under the direction of Irene Smith, the pianos were stored and painted at the Council’s office on Steele Street.

“Street pianos are a fun, interactive way to add to the art and music of our downtown,” says Mayor Chet Mann. “We are proud to make music accessible to all and hope that passersby will take every opportunity to play them.”

“Mayor Mann and Sanford City Council have been great supporters of the Public Art Program since its inception in 2015,” points out Liz Whitmore, city planner and liaison to the Appearance Commission. “Without their commitment to this program, we wouldn’t have a city full of public art – and more on the way.”

The sunflower piano will be on display at the Temple Theatre through the end of its season. The other will be displayed in the courtyard of the Buggy Company Building on week days with good weather.

The street pianos will be dedicated on November 7 at the Temple Theatre during the Downtown Holiday Open House. Education Director Gavan Pamer will play one of the pianos as the Temple Teen Ensemble performs holiday standards. The event will begin at noon.

“The Temple Theatre is thrilled to be a participant in such a vibrant arts community. From our gallery display of local artists that changes with every mainstage production, to this newest addition,” said Peggy Taphorn, producing artistic director for the theater. “Temple Theatre is a showcase, partner, employer, and inclusive venue for all types of regional artists.”

For more information about the Public Art Program or to find out how to get involved, contact Liz Whitmore at or 919-718-4657 ext 5393.