St. Michaels University School Painted Pianos

St. Michaels University School’s Painted Pianos organized by Chris Bateman and Barbara Adams 

Chris Bateman, head of Visual Arts and Design department for St. Michaels University School

Chris Bateman, head of Visual Arts and Design department,  in colaboration with Oak Bay Arts Lauriet Barbara Adams initiated the creation of two painted pianos for the 2018 Oak Bay Arts Alive program. 

Oak Bay Arts Laureate, Barbara Adams

Notably, Chris Bateman is the son of the world famous artist Robert Bateman, whose work has been shown in the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Smithsonian Institution. As well, he is recognized by the Audubon Society as one of the 20th century’s “heroes of conservation” and has received the Officer of the Order of Canada award as well as fourteen honorary doctorates. 


Moreover, the St. Michaels University School (SMUS), which has a global reputation for academic excellence and exceptional arts programs, boasts of many notable alumni including: 

Leslie Hope the from the hit TV series “24”.

Steve Nash who was an eight-time NBA All-Star.  

and Jason Kenney, the current leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta,

One of the pianos of SMUS/Arts Alive project was painted by artist Sherry Tompalski in the theme of the “Queen Gull”.

Sherry Tompalski sanding and applying Gesso to her 2018 Arts Alive Piano



The completed “Queen Gull” painted piano by Sherry Tompalski

Oak Bay Arts Alive Painted Piano Backgrounder

The public painted piano program is one that brings joy and energy to Oak Bay, Canada. Each year, four to five new pianos are purchased and painted by local artists. They are then placed in chosen locations along the coast, in the parks, and around Oak Bay Village. The pianos remain outdoors until September. Anybody can play the pianos from 10 a.m. to dusk daily when they will be covered for the night. The program is organized by Oak Bay Arts Laureate, Barbara Adams, in partnership with Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture. In 2018, there were six pianos painted by Gillian Redwood, Robert Amos, Jennifer McIntyre, Christine Gollner, Sherry Tompalski, and the Senior Art Students at SMUS. The pianos were installed at Loon Bay Park, Estevan Village, McNeill Bay, Turkey Head Walkway, Willows Beach, and Oak Bay Village.


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