Local business owners, art aficionados and music fans raised $52,280 to support arts and music education initiatives in Los Angeles as part of the Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip charity auction held Feb. 22 at Bonhams. The proceeds will directly benefit the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education's “Arts Matter” campaign, which supports art and music education in L.A. public schools.
The charity auction featured 18 10-foot tall art guitars created by artists including Shepard Fairey, RISK and John Kosh, with works celebrating a range of influential Sunset Strip musicians, including Stevie Nicks, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Jane's Addiction and Van Halen. The collection of guitars previously lined the famed 1.6-mile Sunset Strip for a year, providing a public art walking tour of the boulevard.
“What an incredible event! The proceeds from the GuitarTown auction are a shot in the arm for the Arts Matter campaign,” noted L.A. Fund Executive Director Dan Chang. “People are stepping up and saying that arts education is critical for L.A. public school students. The proceeds from the event will support arts and music programs in Los Angeles Unified Schools, including many served in West Hollywood. Thank you GuitarTown team!”
The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education is a philanthropic organization dedicated to driving positive change in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Founded by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and philanthropist Megan Chernin in 2011, the LA Fund supports ideas that can make a dramatic and direct impact on kids' lives and make sure those ideas have the support to be permanent."Arts Matter" campaign to revitalize arts education in the nation's second largest school district, which is comprised of more than 1,000 school sites serving nearly 1 million students from Pre-K to adult, nearly 80% of whom live in circumstances of poverty.
LAUSD has seen cuts of nearly $1.5 billion from its annual operating budget during the past three years, and today, only 2 percent of all instructional time is devoted to the arts in L.A. elementary schools. The purpose of Arts Matter is to develop a system that integrates arts instruction with traditional core subjects to increase creative thinking and learning for all students.
“We are thrilled that members of the community and businesses generously supported the Gibson GuitarTown charity auction and helped raise significant money in support of the LA Fund's efforts,” noted Sunset Strip Business Association Executive Director Todd Steadman. “We are thankful for the support of Gibson Guitar and are extremely grateful to the many artists who dedicated their time to create such wonderful pieces of art celebrating The Sunset Strip and the countless musicians who have helped shape this legendary music boulevard.”
One of the top selling guitars was Los Angeles-based artist Juliana Martinez's "There's Something Happening Here" mosaic tile guitar, celebrating the music and influence of Sunset Strip band Buffalo Springfield, which sold for $17,000.
Artist Juliana Martinez with her "There's Something Happening Here" guitar, inspired by Buffalo Springfield.
"Participating in the GuitarTown project has been a wonderful experience for me. It allows me to use my own creativity, and I really enjoyed being able to celebrate the Buffalo Springfield — whom I have admired for so long — with my own vision,” noted Martinez. “As a teacher with more than 25 years of experience, knowing that the proceeds will give school children the opportunity to express themselves in a way that might not have been possible otherwise, adds to my pride in being part of this project."
The Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip project originally launched in 2010 with 24 art guitars celebrating artists including Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, The Runaways and Mötley Crüe. These guitars were auctioned for charity in 2011 with 100% of the $54,360 in proceeds benefitting local charities Los Angeles Youth Network, West Hollywood Arts & Cultural Commission and West Hollywood Library.
Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip is supported by the Sunset Strip Business Association, Hornburg Land Rover on The Sunset Strip, City of West Hollywood and Visit West Hollywood. GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip is administered by the Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic division of Gibson Guitar Corp. GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip would also like to thank Bonhams, Jack Daniel's and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for their support of the charity auction.
For more information about Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip, please visit www.gibson.com/sunset-strip.
Founded in 1894, Gibson today is a global musical and lifestyle-oriented company based in Nashville, Tennessee, that creates products that enrich the lives of musicians, fans, and consumers, alike. Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Run by technology visionary, Henry Juszkiewicz, the company has been at the forefront of innovation since its inception, the latest of which is the Firebird X guitar. Through the Gibson Foundation, Gibson has become equally known for its philanthropic efforts on behalf of music, education, health and human services. Gibson's family of brands encompass some of the most widely known and respected in the history of music and entertainment, including Epiphone, KRK, Stanton, Onkyo, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Baldwin, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer and Gibson Pro Audio. For more information visit: www.gibson.com, www.facebook.com/gibsonguitar, www.twitter.com/gibsonguitar.
ABOUT THE SUNSET STRIP
The Sunset Strip is a 1.6 mile stretch along Sunset Boulevard that runs through the heart of West Hollywood. From its beginning as an unregulated “strip” of land along Sunset Boulevard outside Los Angeles' city limits, The Sunset Strip has served as a notorious entertainment destination for celebrities, tourists and California residents. It is an iconic locale where fashion, music, architecture and a unique history combine. The Sunset Strip has birthed countless music and entertainment careers, and it continues to blaze its own path as a leading destination with a vibrant and entertaining landscape made up of more than 150 restaurants, shops, nightclubs and hotels. The Sunset Strip became part of the City of West Hollywood when it was incorporated in 1984. For more information about The Sunset Strip, please visit www.thesunsetstrip.com.
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.
ABOUT HORNBURG LAND ROVER AND JAGUAR ON THE SUNSET STRIP
Since its opening, Hornburg Sunset has built its reputation on quality customer service and extensive product selection. Ideally located on The Sunset Strip, the award-winning franchised Jaguar and Land Rover dealer continues to deliver the product and service that the brand is famous for. The dealership is located at 9176 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069. For more information, visit www.hornburgLA.com.
ABOUT VISIT WEST HOLLYWOOD
Visit West Hollywood (formerly known as the West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau) is a 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to marketing the City of West Hollywood as a “living forward” visitor destination to business and leisure travelers by promoting awareness of the city's unique location, image, businesses and industries and by providing support for the city's economic development efforts. For more information on West Hollywood's cutting edge businesses or to plan the ultimate getaway, please visit www.visitwesthollywood.com.
ABOUT THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD
West Hollywood is also known as “The Creative City,” due to its rich history as a hub of entertainment, dining, fashion, design and architecture, is home to such iconic global destinations as Sunset Boulevard; Santa Monica Boulevard, the historic “Route 66;” and Melrose Avenue (The Avenues of Art, Fashion & Design). Originally, an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County, the 1.9 square miles between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, known as West Hollywood was officially incorporated in 1984. West Hollywood is passionate and creative in its approach to City government and has established itself as a leader in many of the critical social movements over the last twenty years. The City has led the way in the fight against HIV and AIDS; rent control and affordable housing; LGBT rights; human rights and civil rights; women's rights; Seniors; protection of our environment; and animal rights. For more information about the City of West Hollywood, please visit www.weho.org.