COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. - These are not your grandfather's guitars. The intricately-designed and painted instruments created by artists may never appear onstage - but they're helping musicians nonetheless. The art guitars are part of an auction for MusicCares, a charity that provides assistance to musicians in need.
The art ranges from the sacred - the Virgin Mary - to the profane, a cartoonish devil with his screaming mouth over the guitar sound hole. There are photo-collages, a tribute to Elvis, a model based on tattoo art, and a guitar with art inspired by the Huichol Indians of Mexico.
One of the artists is Denver-based Laurie Maves. Her folksy acoustic is layered in shades of blue, yellow and green, with flowers and stars, and "love" handwritten across the bottom third.
"I'm really proud to be participating in it, and the artists are willing to give their time, efforts and energy and their creative selves to donate this stuff, so that other people can get some help when they need it."
Maves' guitar and 20 others from around the region will be up for silent auction over the next two weeks. After an exhibition tonight (Friday, July 27) at Kanon Gallery in Denver, the instruments move to Denver's Guitar Center. The benefit auction is held in connection with Copper Mountain's Guitar Town, and the guitars will be there from Aug. 10 until the auction closes at 5 p.m. on Aug. 12.
Scott Goldman, vice president of MusicCares, says the organization offers an important line of support for musicians and others in the music industry.
"Some financial emergency or upset can really tip the balance between having a roof over your head and earn a living. Whatever it might be, we step in and can be the bridge that gets people over that challenge."
Musicians often don't have regular hours or insurance, adds Goldman.
"Folks who tour regularly and have an audience - it is not easy to do. Most musicians struggle to earn a living, a decent living from their music."
Guitar Town also includes performances and workshops, and hopes to raise $5,000 for MusicCares.
More information on MusicCares and the Grammy Foundation is online at grammy.org.
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