News / Arts & Entertainment

Guitars Make Art in Addition to Music

Guitars Not Only Make Art, But Are Pieces of Art Tooi
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Faiza Elmasry
July 09, 2014 7:06 PM
Artists have been creating musical masterpieces on guitars for centuries. But at a music shop in Maryland, artists are creating masterpieces, not with, but literally on guitars. As Faiza Elmasry reports, the guitars became canvases, and were turned into art. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Faiza Elmasry

Artists have created musical masterpieces with guitars for centuries, but at a music shop in Maryland, the instruments became canvases and were transformed into art.

The idea came to the store's owner, Tony Litz, after he bought an artistically enhanced guitar at an auction. He calls it the "Beatles' Guitar."

"We call it that because it got a bunch of Beatles on it and [I] thought on drive home, let's have a guitar decorating contest," Litz said.

Jimi Hendrix Tribute Guitar (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)Jimi Hendrix Tribute Guitar (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)
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Jimi Hendrix Tribute Guitar (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)
Jimi Hendrix Tribute Guitar (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)

Decorating a guitar was a collaborative effort for Jim and Laurie Williams and their daughters Christina and Michelle.

They decorated part of the guitar using an art technique "Alcohol Ink", which allowed them to create very specialized patterns with a variety of colors. 

They arranged and colorized different images of Jimi Hendrix using a simple modge podge technique.

Edwin Zelaya called his piece "Star Guitar," based on Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night".  Edwin was inspired to compete in this contest after acing an art project of the same work in his high school art class.

Three Sisters Heads Guitar by Carla Araneda (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)Three Sisters Heads Guitar by Carla Araneda (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)
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Three Sisters Heads Guitar by Carla Araneda (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)
Three Sisters Heads Guitar by Carla Araneda (Courtesy Victor Litz Music Center)

Customers had 10 days to judge the entries.

When the votes were counted, the winner was "Three Sisters Heads Guitar" by 15-year-old Carla Araneda, who was born and raised in Chile, Ecuador and Peru before moving to the United State more than three years ago.

"I love to use sharpies and black ink," she said. "I also enjoy watching old illustrations from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which is a big influence in my choice of black traces."

So, while not everyone can play a masterpiece on the guitar, the contestants at least made a guitar their own special masterpiece, and that is beautiful music to Tony Litz's ears.

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