In January, 2012 Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima announced that the city of Waukesha will be the eighth city named as a “Guitar Town” by the Gibson Guitartown Project. Waukesha was selected to become part of the foundation’s project after Scrima approached Gibson Guitar Corporation’s chairman and chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz. So how did this all start?
For some time local Waukesha West-End Artists Jeff Seymour and Lynn Gaffey were looking for a guitar-focused project for Waukesha’s downtown to honor one of most famous visionaries of the city, Les Paul. Seymour was searching the internet about one year ago and discovered the Gibson GuitarTown project. After discussing the potential of such a project being hosted in Waukesha, Seymour and Gaffey presented it to the Mayor and the rest is now history.
Over the course of the past seven weeks the project has swiftly moved ahead with the delivery of ten 10’ foot fiberglass guitars on January 31st, delivery of 15 playable guitars on February 9th, and the proposal and final approval on February 15th of 13 locations for the giant 10’ guitars around the city of Waukesha. Although there are only ten giant guitars, the following 13 locations were approved by the Waukesha Steering Committee:
- The Waukesha County Museum
- Lare’s Fashions
- Sloppy Joe’s Soda Fountain
- The Clarke Hotel
- Waukesha State Bank
- Taylors People’s Park
- Otto’s Fine Art Academy
- Restyle Studio
- Main Street Residence
- Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge
- The Waukesha Freeman Building
- Club 400
UPDATE: April 10, 2012
In an article by Sarah Pryor of the Waukesha Freeman, this past week Guitar Town Steering Committee member, Alderman Any Reiland, made an announcement at Thursday’s Common Council meeting that the Rusty Paul Band, the Les Paul Trio, and Sammy Llanas will headline the Waukesha Guitar Town Dedication party.
The musicians will perform during a private evening reception on May 31 at the Rotunda in historic downtown Waukesha where several of the playable Les Paul guitars will be auctioned off in person and online. A public event will be held during Freeman Friday Night Live the evening of June 1 in historic downtown Waukesha.