MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis artists have a new canvas coming to the city, but they must start planning their next creation now. Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Gibson Brands, announced Tuesday that Memphis, Tennessee, will become its next "GuitarTown."
Gibson launched the public art GuitarTown project in its headquarters city of Nashville in 2004. A series of iconic Gibson guitar sculptures are strategically located throughout Music City, as they will be in Memphis in 2016 and '17.
In Memphis, birthplace of the Blues, Gibson will erect twenty copies of B.B. King's legendary Lucille style guitars that will stand ten feet tall.
"GuitarTown is a project that is near and dear to Gibson Brands, allowing us to share these amazing pieces of art in cities across the country while also giving back through each GuitarTown auction," Gibson Chairman/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said. "We're thrilled to bring the latest installation to the Home of the Blues in a fitting tribute to legendary musician B.B. King and to support the tremendous work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Memphis Charitable Foundation."
In 2017, the guitar sculptures will be auctioned off to benefit St. Jude and Memphis Charitable Foundation. Artists are now invited to creatively customize the Gibson Lucille guitar sculptures and can learn all of the requirements by clicking here.
Entries are due by June 5, 2016. In honor of B.B. King's Birthday, September 16, Gibson Foundation has invited two local nationally renowned artists, Lamar Sorrento and Brandon Marshall, to create the first Lucille sculptures that will be showcased in Memphis.
Gibson Brands built a guitar factory just south of Beale Street in 1997. Gibson offers visitors the opportunity to tour its Memphis factory and the chance to watch craftsmen and women lovingly create musical instruments that are available for sale at its Gibson-Memphis factory store.
Gibson Foundation generously sponsors the Gibson Guitar 5K for St. Patrick Community Outreach, Inc., a 501 © 3 nonprofit agency one city block southeast of Gibson-Memphis. The Gibson 5K provides critical funds that are transformed into food for hungry children and families. The 5K also fuels the Green Machine Mobile Food Market, a rolling farmer's market on a retrofitted city bus that sells fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods
at cost to people living in Memphis neighborhoods lacking access to high quality nutritional choices.
The Gibson 5K celebrates its 20th anniversary on June 11, 2016 --- the same week a jury will be deciding which artist proposals will be accepted
for the Memphis GuitarTown project. Gibson Foundation has created the GuitarTowns in Austin, Texas, on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Miami and Orlando, Florida, Waukesha, Wisconsin and in London, England, cumulatively raising over $3 million for charities in host cities.