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Artists for Waukesha GuitarTown to be announced

Murals could also be part of project

Feb. 26, 2013

The artists selected to decorate the guitars for Waukesha GuitarTown II will be announced in the coming days.

As of Monday, GuitarTown Inc. spokesman Norm Bruce was still awaiting date and location information for the public announcement. The deadline for artists to submit materials for the project was Feb. 21.

"We're still waiting on confirmation as to when the large guitars from (Gibson Corp.) will be coming," said Bruce, owner of Martha Merrell's Books. "We want to bring all the artists together for us to show the public."

Last year, the GuitarTown Steering Committee announced the artists chosen to decorate the 10-foot-tall guitars and theregular-sized playable guitars at Key Westconsin restaurant in Waukesha.

Alderman Andy Reiland said Gibson will again provide guitars and assistance with guest musicians during the kickoff event.

GuitarTown II, a public arts project that honors the late Les Paul, will model last year's event that saw the artistic guitars unveiled during the opening weekend of Friday Night Live.

The kickoff took place the first weekend of June with events centered on music and arts in downtown Waukesha.

Reiland said sponsorship packets for GuitarTown II are close to being finalized. Through sponsorships and donations, GuitarTown I raised more than $100,000 for local charities.

Murals on the radar

At the request from Waukesha GuitarTown Inc., the Plan Commission on Wednesday, looked at approving conceptual plans for three to five murals downtown in conjunction with GuitarTown II. Bruce said the murals will center on Les Paul. If approved, the murals will be painted by The Walldogs, a group of sign and mural artists from across the country.

The Public Art Committee recently gave its approval on the murals.

In addition to the amount of murals and where they are placed being dependent on finding business owners and sponsorships, the murals will also have to be approved by the Common Council after the Plan Commission gives its recommendation.

Bruce said the conceptual plan is for up to 20 murals, with the first stage of three to five being unveiled during the first weekend of Friday Night Live.

Guitar Pickers

This year's GuitarTown Steering Committee, responsible for the project, consists of:

Rick Congdon (chairman), executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County

Norm Bruce, Martha Merrell's Books owner

Lynn Gaffey, West End artists director

Beth Hoefer, Public Art Committee chairwoman

Charles Lichtie, Public Art Committee member

Kevin Larson, plan commissioner

Ron Lostetter, Carroll University chief financial officer

Andy Reiland, alderman

Jeff Scrima, City of Waukesha mayor

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