The Austin Chronicle

Austin GuitarTown Project: Going, going, gone!

By Robert Faires, October 26, 2007, Arts

Remember all those funky 10-foot-tall guitar sculptures that were standing around town most of the year? They were part of a public arts project sponsored by – who else? – Gibson Guitar, to brighten up our cityscape for a year (and get the name of Gibson out there, natch). They were plucked from their perches a few weeks ago, so they could be auctioned off for charity, and so they were on Oct. 17. A crowd of 500 packed GSD&M's Idea City to bid on (and watch others bid on) the 35 10-foot-tall guitars and 30 regular-sized guitars that had been transformed into works of art. Lone Star songster Ray Wylie Hubbard served as emcee, while international auctioneers Julien's Auctions supervised the sales. They were brisk – Reflections of Austin, by Shanny Lott, and Striking Texas Gold, by Diane Sonnenberg, went for $55,000 apiece – and overall the Austin GuitarTown Auction Gala brought in $589,000. That wealth will be spread among four area charities: the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the Austin Museum of Art, American YouthWorks, and the Austin Children's Museum.

For those of you who couldn't purchase a sculpture of your own but still want a memory of those glittery guitars, a limited-edition art book, with images of the entire collection, is available at Waterloo Records & Video, Wild About Music, Austin Museum of Art, Austin Children's Museum, and the Austin Visitor Center. Proceeds from the sale of the $25 book will also support the four charities. For more information, visit

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