The Sunset Strip Business Association and Gibson, in partnership with the City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau, are pleased to announce the official unveiling of GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip is set for Thursday, August 12 from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. GuitarTown is a public art project that features 26 ten-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars. The oversized Gibson guitar sculptures were created by local and nationally-acclaimed visual artists, with each guitar sculpture celebrating a musician, personality, or influential moment unique to The Sunset Strip’s history and Gibson Guitar. The guitars will be strategically placed along the 1.6-mile Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
The day’s events will kick off at 5 p.m. with the grand “re-opening” of The Strip, featuring a caravan of classic cars and a ribbon cutting by West Hollywood City Councilmembers. The “re-opening” follows the seven month Sunset Strip Beautification Project that included such improvements as repaving the boulevard for the first time in 75 years, repairing and expanding sidewalks and crosswalks to enhance the pedestrian experience and planting new trees along the 1.6 mile stretch.
At 6 p.m., a news conference will take place at the Rainbow Bar & Grill announcing the artists who created the GuitarTown sculptures. Following the press conference, guests and visitors are invited to enjoy the nightlong Block Party on The Sunset Strip from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., featuring patio parties, live music, drink specials, extended shopping hours and discounts at participating businesses.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of the Sunset Strip Beatification Project and the unveiling of GuitarTown on the world-famous Sunset Strip. This unique public art exhibit will showcase the dynamic cultural and musical history of The Sunset Strip. It will also provide an opportunity to promote some of the incredible businesses that call The Sunset Strip home. GuitarTown will give our visitors yet another reason to get out and explore this legendary destination," said West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman.
The 26 ten-foot art guitars that make up GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip include themes such as the jazz era on The Strip, the ’60s counterculture movement and the glamour and glitz of the boulevard, as well pieces celebrating Slash, The Doors, Mötley Crüe and Sunset Strip nightclub founders Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine (The Roxy Theatre, Whisky A Go-Go and Rainbow Bar & Grill). Each piece also utilizes its own medium from painting to sculpture and photography. The artists were selected by a committee composed of community leaders, business representatives, City staff and members of the arts community.
Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip will be on display for the next six months. After the guitars complete their “tour” of The Strip, they will then be sold at a Gala Auction with all proceeds benefitting nonprofit organizations and charities.
In addition to the unveiling of GuitarTown, The Sunset Strip is hosting a Block Party on August 12, with businesses along the boulevard hosting events including a patio reception with DJ, drinks and historic photo exhibit at The Comedy Store; patio parties with live music and dining specials at Joe’s Pizza and Sunset Deli; live music and drink specials at Red Rock; wine tastings at Nonna Of Italy; all-night happy hour at The Olive Kitchen + Bar, Dukes West Hollywood and Carney’s; extended happy hour at BLT Steak, RH at Andaz, The London Bar and The Standard; extended shopping hours and discounts at Miriam Claudette, Nicole, Nicole Miller and Mystery Pier Books; and more.
“The Block Party is a great way to invite people back to The Sunset Strip following the construction, and introduce them to the many improvements that enhance this storied boulevard,” noted Todd Steadman, executive director of the Sunset Strip Business Association. “In recent weeks we’ve noticed more people out, walking and enjoying the newly renovated Strip, and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike this month with GuitarTown and the Sunset Strip Music Festival August 26-28.”
GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip is supported by Gibson Guitar, the Sunset Strip Business Association, West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau and the City of West Hollywood.
For more information about Gibson GuitarTown, please visit Gibson.com/sunset-strip.
For a full listing of Sunset Strip Block Party activities, please visit TheSunsetStrip.com/blockparty.
Photos: Jodi Bonassi guitar celebrating Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine, who were influential in creating the live music scene on The Sunset Strip with the creation of The Roxy Theatre, Whisky A Go-Go and Rainbow.
Ron English guitar celebrating legendary guitarist and 2010 Sunset Strip Music Festival honoree Slash.