By Carissa Woytach, United Way of Greater Cleveland Staff Writer
United Way of Greater Cleveland’s GuitarMania® will return for the last two weeks of July, with five new, patriotic-themed Fender® Stratocasters® on display throughout the city.
GuitarMania is a public art project that has raised $2 million for United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s education programs. GuitarMania hit the streets in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2012. Scattered throughout downtown Cleveland, the 10-foot-tall guitars feature designs by local artists and national celebrities.
The five new guitars will be on display just in time for the Republican National Convention, and are on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Westin Cleveland, DoubleTree Hotel, Aloft Cleveland and Hyatt Regency at the Arcade. Starting July 13, they will be on display through the end of the month.
Artist Hector Vega worked with Tom Warner to design and paint “Cultural Harmony,” which he said he designed especially for this project.
“I wanted to capture the diversity of the country and the energy of the country,” Vega said. “The way the diversity, and now all the energy of the things that go on are forging this country, and how they all intermix. It’s an incredible country to live in.”
Vega designed guitars for every GuitarMania, which he considers an honor.
“It’s been an honor, because, obviously they believe in my design skills, but I love the project and I always say yes,” he said. “United Way helps so many agencies; it touches so many people who are in need. They could ask me 100 times and I’d still say yes.”
United Way of Greater Cleveland invited five artists to design the five guitars, Hector Vega, (with Tom Warner), Lisa Ruschman, Ryan Oddo, John Rivera-Resto and Sequoia Versillee. Insurance brokerage Oswald Companies sponsored Versillee’s guitar, “Liberty.”
Guitars are on sale! For more information, or to buy one, contact Michelle Carver at email@example.com or call 216-436-2121.
Full list of the guitars and their placement can be found at unitedwaycleveland.org/guitarmania