The Rockin’ to RAGBRAI public piano has been painted by local artist Tony Sims at the request of the Tower View Team of Jefferson Matters: Main Street. The committee gave Tony the only direction of the theme of RAGBRAI since Jefferson will be an overnight host on July 23. At the unveiling of the piano on April 23, Tony shared that RAGBRAI was more about the people than anything else, so he decided to paint portraits of the many faces of RAGBRAI. Some of the faces are local such as Chuck Offenburger and Don & Jean Van Gilder who were co-chairs of the 2008 RAGBRAI overnight in Jefferson. Iconic RAGBRAI personalities of John Karras and Donald Kaul are painted on the front of the piano. Tony uses an air-brush technique in his art work and these likenesses are extraordinary.
The Rockin’ to RAGBRAI piano will be moved to the Bell Tower plaza on Friday, May 25 as the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower will open on Saturday for regular daily hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through the end of September. Residents and visitors are invited to stop at the tower to view or tinkle the ivories of this spectacular piece of art in downtown Jefferson. This is the fourth public piano created for the Tower View Te
am to draw people to the downtown.