Sunset Strip launches public arts project called GuitarTown

The Sunset Strip and Gibson Guitar announced the launch of GuitarTown, a public arts project that will feature more than 25 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars strategically placed on the legendary Sunset Strip in West Hollywood beginning in August 2010. The oversized Gibson guitar sculptures will be created by local and nationally acclaimed visual artists and placed along the 1.6-mile Sunset Strip in front of the boulevard’s landmarks and businesses, including the Whisky A Go-Go, The Roxy Theatre and Sunset Marquis.

Each guitar sculpture will celebrate a musician, personality or artist unique to The Sunset Strip’s history and Gibson Guitar.

The project will unite The Sunset Strip’s art, music and business communities and will later raise funds for numerous charitable organizations. GuitarTown Sunset Strip is set to open to the public in mid-August, prior to the third annual Sunset Strip Music Festival (August 26-28).

The GuitarTown Sunset Strip project will also showcase the recently “renovated” Sunset Strip which is undergoing a beautification project that includes a more pedestrian-friendly experience on the boulevard.

“We are very excited about Gibson GuitarTown coming to The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. GuitarTown is a perfect way for us to celebrate the creative heritage of The Sunset Strip. It allows us to celebrate art and our rock and roll roots,” noted West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman. “We look forward to welcoming Gibson GuitarTown to West Hollywood.”

“Like Gibson Guitar, The Sunset Strip is legendary. It’s also responsible for launching the careers of some of the world’s greatest musicians,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. “We are so pleased to be part of The Sunset Strip project and look forward to hosting GuitarTown in what will surely strike a chord with everyone who visits The Sunset Strip.”

The guitars will complete a “tour” of The Strip and then be sold at a Gala Auction with all proceeds benefiting nonprofit organizations and charities. Similar projects hosted by Gibson Guitar and Epiphone raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and took place in Nashville, Austin, London, Orlando and Miami. The Sunset Strip GuitarTown project will be administered through the Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Gibson Guitar Corp., which is dedicated to improving the quality of life through its support of the arts, education, health & welfare and environmental causes.

“GuitarTown is a perfect fit for The Strip. It celebrates the iconic rock heritage while also looking to the future, which includes the Sunset Strip Music Festival coming up in August,” said West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath. “We are amped for GuitarTown because it’s also a terrific way to show off the immense improvements we’ve made to The Sunset Strip.”

A call for artists was distributed and an announcement of selected artists will be made in July. For GuitarTown artist application information, visit SunsetStrip.com

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