Willie Nelson Co-Chairs Gibson Guitar “Austin GuitarTown Project” 11/27/06


On November 27, Gibson Guitar will unveil seventy (70) guitars for the about Austin GuitarTown project, a public arts project that will feature thirty-five(35) 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson guitars along with thirty-five (35) showcase Gibson guitars painted by local visual artists. In addition, a majority of the guitars will be paired with celebrities, actors and musicians.  This is similar to the Cows project in Chicago, and the Snoopy Project in Minneapolis, and other art projects around the country.

The project will be unveiled with a special announcement hosted by the Honorable Mayor Will Wynn and music legend Ray Benson on Monday, November 27 at 4:00 PM at City Hall Pavilion (301 W. Second Street). This announcement is open to the public. Mayor Wynn and Benson are co-chairs of the Austin GuitarTown project along with Willie Nelson and Coach Darrell Royal, Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp, serves as Honorary Chairman.

Celebrities who are confirmed at this time include: Willie Nelson, Ray Benson, Coach Darrell Royal, The Dixie Chicks, Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Radney Foster, Kyle Chandler, Marcia Ball, Dwight Yoakum, Norah Jones, Patrice Pike, Lloyd Maines and Terri Hendrix, Chris Tomlin, Alejandro Escovedo, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Roky Erickson, Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis, and ZZ Top. Additional celebrities will be confirmed throughout the project with surprise announcements coming soon.

The unique guitar sculptures have been artistically designed by local and talented visual artists and will be placed throughout Austin in front of the city’s landmarks and businesses through the Fall of 2007. The sculptures will then be auctioned off benefiting four local charities: The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM); The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA); American Youthworks; and the Austin Children’s Museum.

Visual artists who have graciously given their time and talent to the project include: Sam Bass, Stephanie Bradley, Andy Buchanan, Rebecca Hendrickson, Judy Hubbard, Rich Knepprath, Kristina Miller, Susan Sutherland, Seth Walker, Fiona Worrall, Johnny Edwards, Delphin Escalante, Evan Voyle, Tracie Sutton, Ann Pinion, Kathie Franklin, Caro Dubois, Dianne Sonnenberg, Robert Jones, Sharon Roy Finch, Sara Hickman, SC Essai, Cindy Raschke, Craig Barnes, Randy Rudman, Bob Wade, Leah Maxwell, Jack Terry, Kathy Marcus, Gordon Jones, Paul Beck, Alyson Winningham, Tom Music, Sam Hurt, Howard Weliver, Karen Paul-Burges, Debra Prather Samples, Allison Gregory, Shanny Lott, Amanda Dunbar, Craig Hein, George Yepes, Walker Winn, Gwenyth Jett, Julie Ann McDonald, Richard Rodriguez, Melissa Brown, Bobby Hamric, Karen Ann Smith, Deanna Story, Dan Zinno, April Sulivan, Todd Campbell, Jennifer Chenoweth, Mark Andrew Jeffrey, Wendy Ford Mackey, Eddie Myers, Christy Kale, Beverly Kemp, Jim La Paso, Lynn Wilkerson, Marla Ripperda, Bob Schneider, Tania Olander, Johnny Edwards, Delphin Escalante, Charles Ferraro and Mandy Lawson.

The Austin GuitarTown Committee includes: Honorary Committee: Music Icons, Ray Benson and Willie Nelson, along with Texas Football Legend, Coach Darrell Royal and the Honorable Will Wynn; Steering Committee Members: Susan Antone (Antone’s Nightclub/American Youthworks), Becky Arreaga (Mercury Mambo), Ed Bailey (KRLU), Jim Butler (City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Service Office), Howard W. Carey (Capital Sports & Entertainment), Chris Collins (KUT), Dana Friis-Hansen (Austin Museum of Art), Theresa Jenkins (The Recording Academy, Texas Chapter), Katherine Jones (Milkshake Media LP), Rose Reyes (Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau), Ronne Rock (KXAN/NBC Austin*KNVA/Austin’sCW), Robin Shivers (R.R.S. Management, Inc.), Kerry Tate (TateAustin), Tracy Walker (Clear Channel Radio), Gail Papermaster (Attorney-At-Law), and Mark Strama (Texas State Representative).

The Austin GuitarTown project is administered through the Gibson Foundation www.gibson.com/foundation, a Division of the Gibson Guitar Corp., which is dedicated to improving the quality of life through its support of the arts, education, health & welfare and environmental causes.

For more information, please call (512) 692-4191 or visit www.austinguitartown.com.

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