GuitarTown looking for new artists

Jan. 22, 2013

With the Waukesha GuitarTown project returning in 2013, the steering committee is in search of artists to design the Gibson Les Paul guitars that will be unveiled later this year.

Like last year, the project, in partnership with Gibson Guitar Corporation, will feature 10-foot fiberglass guitars and regular standard size playable guitars that artists will decorate. Most of last year's guitars honored the late Les Paul, a music icon who was born and is buried in Waukesha.

The project is a way to celebrate the city's art and music culture and pay tribute to Paul for his contributions to the music industry.

Its goal is to also raise money for charities. Last year the project raised $105,000: $45,000 to the Waukesha Public School District for new musical instruments and art supplies; $45,000 to the Les Paul exhibit at the Waukesha County Museum; $15,000 to the Waukesha Memorial Hospital to help fund the new Community Health Clinic.

The guitar sculptures are sponsored by local businesses and individuals.

Interested artists for Phase II must submit materials to the Almont Gallery, with the label address Waukesha West End Artists: 342 W. Main St., Waukesha, WI 53186. Artists will be selected based on their proposal, work examples and résumé. Artistsselected to provide artwork will be required to execute a contract for services approved by the selection committee.

Artists must provide contact information, four photos (4-inch by 6-inch) of current artwork, a detailed concept proposal with both visual (minimum front and back) and a written description of the concept, original materials and a self-addressed, postage paid mailer if artists want application materials returned (all application materials from selected artists will be retained by the selection committee until the project is completed).

After a GuitarTown kickoff that featured local and national musicians and events surrounding Les Paul last June, the guitars were placed at indoor and outdoor locations in downtown Waukesha.

Waukesha GuitarTown Steering Committee member Norm Bruce said the intention is to model last year's event with the GuitarTown event coinciding with the first week of Friday Night Live in June.

There were 30 guitars last year - 20 playable and 10, 10-foot tall sculpture guitars. Bruce said the number of guitars this year depends on the amount of sponsorships.

After reviewing the artists' work, he anticipates selecting the artists sometime in February and receiving the guitars from Gibson at the end of February.

When Waukesha became a Gibson Corporation GuitarTown, it joined cities such as Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., Cleveland, Hollywood, Calif., Miami and London last year.

For questions on GuitarTown artists, contact Waukesha GuitarTown Steering Committee member Lynn Gaffey at (262) 542-1522 or For information on Waukesha GuitarTown go to


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