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In the Mood for a Melody? Check Out the Fuzzy’s Taco Piano, Man!

If you immediately started singing the song that inspired the title of the article, then make your way to Fuzzy’s Taco this spring and summer season and take a seat on Downtown’s latest public art installation! This past October, in partnership with UTA, we had the pleasure of working with UTA art student and local artist Vy Dang to reinvent one of the old pianos that we saved back in 2021 from its deteriorating appearance into a colorful and vibrant work of art.  

Soon, the piano will be professionally tuned and ready for people to hop on and serenade other customers while enjoying the beautiful patio-worthy weather! Whether you’re a lover of the arts and music or a Fuzzy’s frequent flyer, check out these seven fast facts about artist Vy Dang and what it took to refurbish this wonderful instrument. 

1. The biggest challenge was prepping the piano. 

“My approach to prepping say, a canvas, is just gessoing and lightly sanding the surface. It can take a while, but it's pretty straightforward. But with the piano, the surface was already sealed off. I had to get to the bare wood before I could even touch it with a brush (otherwise the paints wouldn't stick as well). So, sanding it down – indoors too – was tough.  

2. Keith Haring’s iconic bold linework inspired the design of the piano. 

I wanted to make something that would invite people to take a closer look at it and find all the easter eggs and references that are lying through all the panels of the piano. A lot of it goes back to Downtown Arlington, but there might be some sillier aspects that I hope will catch people's eyes.  

3. Dang was given free reign with the design concepts. 

“For the most part, the direction I was initially given was very free… There was an I Spy-inspired design, and one that was more artsy, in a way. This one was my middle child of the two, a sweet balance between interactive and interesting, and a big favorite from the folks I showed them to.” 

4. Dang discovered the opportunity through UTA professor Ben Terry. 

“A massive shout out to my painting professor Ben Terry. He's the one who pitched me on this project, and I wouldn't have even known about it if it weren't for him. The piano had been sitting pretty in the studio for a while, so I knew something would be done with it eventually, but I never imagined I'd be involved. I've done public art before, but those were instructor-led group projects, so this would have been my first paid solo project; I just couldn't say no, even if the idea of painting a piano was a little daunting.” 

5. Dang has aspired to be an artist her whole life. 

“For a while, my only known 'character trait' pre-college among anyone who knew me was 'the girl that could draw.' But only when I got to UTA did I consider myself 'an artist' as I got serious about what I wanted to make. Rather than any artist or artwork that inspired me to continue art, it was the joy of creating that spurred me more than anything else.” 

6. A glass mosaic sculpture or window is Dang’s dream project. 

“Do I have any experience with glasswork? No. But a project that combines any aspects of illustration with sculptural work and interacts with light? So up my alley. Now I just have to find a way to learn how to do that...” 

7. Dang hopes to see more murals around Downtown Arlington. 

“I've collaborated on a lot of murals lately, some in progress, some finished. So, I'm a little biased when I say more murals around Downtown Arlington would be sick. I just want to make some crazy, funky, out-there art on a large wall. I think we can stand to live in a more colorful world. The instinct for murals – since it's usually commissioned – is to play it to what the customer wants, but it'd be awesome to let the artist go full balls-to-the-wall crazy with it. Nothing profane, just... out there. Show that Arlington has some funk to it that can only be found here.”