Carpe Diem!, a Lafayette gelato and espresso bar, is calling on local artists to submit ideas for turning the signature piano that sits outside into a work of art.

The upright">Hobart M. Cable piano is played by anyone who can, filling the ears of those passing by the popular Jefferson Street establishment.

The piano’s played a lot — by regulars at the coffee shop who come armed with a stack of sheet music to practice, as well as by accomplished musicians Wilson Savoy and Cedric Watson, who sometimes drop by to sit and play, Carpe Diem! manager Rick Rowan said.

The Paint the Piano Project is Carpe Diem!’s part in Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Project Front Yard, in which business and civic leaders look for ways to clean up and beautify the city.

“I wanted our piano to be a work of art as well as an instrument,” Carpe Diem! owner Silvia Bertolazzi said. “Then there will be another reason for Lafayette to be listed among the best (places) in the world” to live in and visit.

The upright Hobart M. Cable piano replaced a bigger upright piano that was in front of the shop until a gust of wind blew it into West Convent Street.

Both pianos have inspired jam sessions.

“We have at least five to six people who come and sit at the piano each day,” Rowan said. “It creates a unique atmosphere and brings together musicians for these impromptu jams.”

Artists’ proposals will be accepted through Mardi Gras, Feb. 17.

Applications can be found inside the restaurant or online at

To apply, fill out the application and drop it off along with a sketch or photo or graphic design of the proposed piano art.