Ten 10-feet-tall fiberglass Les Paul model guitars arrived in Waukesha Tuesday morning as the city is planned to be the next Gibson GuitarTown.
The guitar were delivered to the Spring Artisan Village, 521 Wisconsin Ave. Local artists will soon be selected to decorate the guitars that will be placed throughout the city.
“What can I say? It is amazing,” said Lynn Gaffey, owner of Almont Gallery and a member of the steering committee that is planning the project.
The artist selection begins Tuesday, Gaffey said, and 25 artists have submitted applications to work on the guitars.
In addition to the 10-feet-tall guitars, 15 smaller guitars will be placed throughout the city. Gibson is donating three of the large guitars and all of the 15 guitars, according to Norm Bruce, owner of Martha Merrell Books and media spokesman for the project. Original plans called for 10 smaller guitars.
The remaining seven larger guitars are being funded by Mayor Jeff Scrima’s New Day in Waukesha fund, a fund he opened to donate his pay after he promised during his election to work for half pay.
“Originally it was 10 (small guitars), but after they knew we had committed to doing the seven more and saw a copy of the check, they immediately said ‘You wanted five more, we will chip those in,’” Bruce said.
Looking at the tall guitars, the project is becoming a reality in Waukesha – the birth and final resting place of Les Paul. However, it still has to go before city boards for government approvals. Final locations for the guitars are also not determined, according to Bruce.
In the meantime, Bruce said the guitars are impressive.
“Take a look. People will say what does a 10-foot guitar look like, and all of a sudden, they are going, ‘That’s what they look like,’” Bruce said. “I think that is going to cause all kinds of other people to go ‘Wow, this is really happening!’”
The launch of the project is scheduled for June 1, which corresponds with the opening date for the Freeman Friday Night Live weekly summer music event in downtown Waukesha.
Other GuitarTowns include:
- Los Angeles