When 10-foot-tall guitars created by artists like Shepard Fairey and works by Sunset Strip musicians such as The Doors, Van Halen and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks are sold at a charity auction for arts and music education in L.A.’s public schools, it’s safe to say that people are going to be pulling out their checkbooks, even in a still-struggling economy.
No wonder, then, that local entrepreneurs, art enthusiasts and music fans raised $52,280 at a charity auction hosted by Gibson GuitarTown, the Sunset Strip store allied with the Gibson Foundation, whose philanthropic efforts to encourage music, education, health and human services are well known.
The event, titled Gibson GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip Charity Auction, was held Feb. 22 at the 7601 W. Sunset Blvd. office of Bonhams, one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Proceeds from the auction will go to the “Arts Matter” campaign of the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, a philanthropic organization devoted to positive change through art and music education in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The auction featured 18 so-called art guitars that previously lined the renowned 1.6-mile Sunset Strip, providing a public art walking tour of the boulevard.
Among the top-selling guitars was "There's Something Happening Here," a mosaic tile artwork that fetched $17,000. It was created by Los Angeles-based artist Juliana Martinez in celebration of the music and influence of the Sunset Strip band Buffalo Springfield.
The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education was founded in 2011 by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and philanthropist Megan Chernin. The organization recently launched the "Arts Matter" campaign to rejuvenate arts education in more than 1,000 LAUSD schools, including many in West Hollywood, where nearly eight out of 10 students live in circumstances of poverty.