Piano Information:

"Dorothea" — by designer: Charlie White

Photography by:   Benji Vuong

Photography by: Benji Vuong


(Off the street)

On her way to her forever home.


Charlie White


Dorothea Austin


Doug Elwood

David Dotlich

We rescue pianos and put them on the street for everybody to enjoy. We want to give pianists more opportunities to play for the public.



This upright piano had been spray-painted school-bus yellow with some red areas under which was a silver metallic spray paint. I used a "trompe l'oeil" approach to rendering, along with my usual layering of materials. Each side shows a different view with its differing scale, creates mood and tells story, and each is stand-alone, yet has intentional relationship to its visual neighborhood. I felt directed to visually ‘enter’ into the structure from every view. On each end, 3-D to 2-D depth combine in single images: the historic female figures -- the caryatids from ancient Greek pillars that support the structure of the massive buildings; the amphora -- vessels of all variations used throughout Europe in that period of antiquity and meant to hold, serve, store and ship liquid or dry goods. The lower portion of the piano with some comic relief of a female figure -- a water naiad -- with her feet hovering above ground is an image that feeds to the upper melancholic vista as if seen from inside the structure. The piano bench was painted in black ‘marble’ and white ‘marble’ to create a ‘match’ with the faux-marble keyboard structure. My husband assisted in some helpful critiquing and piano bench preparation along with being a loving support person project was sheer joy!



Charlie White is a professional artist who works in a multitude of mediums and persuasions. For over 40 years she has shown in numerous galleries, local and non-local, has curated a couple galleries of her own -- one in downtown Portland and one in the Pearl District. She currently shows at the Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery.


The breadth of her work is extensive and includes not only work on panel and canvas -- large and small, countless commercial and residential commissions, but also does color consultations, interior design, and yard consultations which, to the artist, are as if sculpture with all its dimensions, seasons and color.


Namesake Musician: 
Dorothea Banner

"Dorothea Austin Banner (1921-2011) was an Austrian-born American pianist and composer who specialized in electronic and computer generated music.... As a child, she was already performing as a concert pianist.... As her performing career had been interrupted by the war, Austin attended Queens College (CUNY) in New York City, where she studied composition with Leo Kraft and George Perle. She developed in interest in electronic forms and composition with synthesizer, working successfully as a composer. Austin took a position as professor at Queensborough Community College, where she remained for nearly forty years, also serving as department chair. Austin was a member of the New York Women Composers Association." 


– Wikipedia: Dorothea Banner



Doug Elwood
David Dotlich



We rescue pianos, put them on the street for everyone to enjoy, and then give them to schools, community centers, artists, and others who will love them as much as we do.


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