Modesto’s Intersection of Art. More Fun Theory


Downtown Modesto (California) has been enlivened by the appearance of a somewhat unusual set of pedestrian crossings.

Intersection of Art: 10th and 1st

photo: Bicek Photography of Modesto, CA

Intersections in front of the Gallo Center for the Arts have been re-imagined by local artists Julie Scherer and John Griswold. One takes the form of a piano keyboard, and the other a trail of notes along a musical stave.

One would like to think that this artwork not only brightens up the street, but also makes drivers more aware of the intersection. It’s also makes crossing the road a lot more fun.

Intersection of Art. 11th and 1st

photo: Bicek Photography of Modesto, CA

The Intersection of Art was selected to be Leadership Modesto Class’ project of the year (2017).  Its aim is to bring greater awareness of the arts to the community, as well as enhancing and beautifying the local area.

The Fun Theory

The piano keyboard has been used many times before as street art. But probably the best known and most interesting is Stockholm’s piano stairway.

Volkswagen transformed the stairs at the Odenplan subway stations into a piano keyboard, such that a musical note played each time someone stepped on a stair. The piano stairway was located alongside an escalator, but over two-thirds of commuters preferred the musical stairs. Volkswagon called it “the fun theory”.

Anyway, the Intersection of Art is a big hit with Modesto’s tourists and residents alike. The piano keyboard really is a powerful tool.

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