Twenty-two guitars placed in the hands of artists have been transformed and will be auctioned to support Music on the Square, Jonesborough’s Friday night mini-festival.
The fundraiser, the third annual Spring Tune-Up, will be held at the International Storytelling Center Friday, April 5 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Organizer Steve Cook calls the embellished instruments Guit-Art. Exhibiting a wide range of talent, media and imagination, the guitars are now on display at shops in downtown Jonesborough.
Though they do not have to be playable, some of the artists wanted to leave their stamp without disabling the instrument.
Of the entries, Cook is not surprisingly partial to the piece created by his wife Tava with help from Steve and grandson Davis Gunnin. The theme of the piece is “A Thousand Points of Light.” It is lit from the inside with two CFL bulbs and covered in painstakingly cut and placed pieces of glass. Davis made the glass tuners and the borosilicate glass rods that protrude from the guitar body.
The quickest turn-around came from artist Terry Warner. “He had it the least amount of time,” Cook said, adding. “This guitar belongs at Down Home.” Warner has created a three-dimensional audience, stage and musicians from wood veneer and copper wire. Also included is a likeness of his dog Hank.
Beverly Jenkins, co-owner of Main Street Cafe, does mosaics on the side. She has created an intricate mosaic landscape in blues and greens with red accents.
Dave Campbell of Morrell Music donated the 24 classical guitars as part of his Music on the Square sponsorship. In August, three days after receiving the guitars, Cook said all had been claimed by artists, with two being held in reserve. “Two are going to be auctioned as actual guitars to be given to needy students,” he said.
The youngest artist to participate is 10-year-old Grayson Smith. According to his mentor, CanJoe John, “Grayson chose acrylic paint as his medium to render the New York City scape, the buildings and the Statue of Liberty, and I then added the surreal sky, touched up a little on the Ellis Island and painted the background and ocean to finish the work.”
Grayson’s guitar is on display at The Crafty Peddler in the Mail Pouch building across from the old Courthouse.
Bidding should be lively as Allen Brasington auctions the guitars and other items, including a Stressless chair from Mauk’s. Cook said no reserve has been set for the guitars, but he hopes the live auction will encourage competition among bidders.
Heavy hors’doeuvres and beer from Depot Street Brewery will be served. Tickets are $20 in advance, available at Jonesborough Art Glass, the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, the International Storytelling Center and Morrell’s Music in Johnson City. Tickets will be $25 at the door.
MOTS kicks off its 15th season May 3 with the Jonesborough Novelty Band and runs Friday nights through September.
For more information, visit Music on the Square on Facebook or www.musiconthesquare.com.