To say I was honored when the National GUITAR Museum asked me to create license plate guitar artwork for their traveling exhibit is putting it mildly. However, this experience wasn't just an honor. It was an opportunity to stretch myself and my license plate art; by placing license plates on an actual guitar, I was able to explore a new medium. (It reminds me of the time I created a laminate of my artwork for Taylor guitars. More about that here.)
Until now, my artwork have been sculptures of guitars that don't play, so this one is really special to me. I have been working about a year on this piece with the museum's curator, HP Newquist. When we first started talking, HP explained that the people at the museum really wanted a piece that would play, and asked me if I was up to this challenge. Being an artist is always challenging; I think it's one of the things that make it so special. I said yes.
The guitar, which arrived a few months later, is a Fender Stratocaster. The license plates were donated by people at the National GUITAR Museum. When I inspected the tags, I immediately noticed the Connecticut saying, "Preserve the Sound." How appropriate, I thought, since the tags are being used on my first piece that will actually make sound and be played.
I always find it interesting how the artwork takes on a life of itself and how the tags always tell the story of the piece. The guitar has a very interesting sound and the reflective qualities of the license plates really take it to another level.
HP was kind enough to share kind words about about and photos of my license plate guitar sculpture on display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio through April 2017.
If you would like to see this true license plate guitar be sure to visit the National GUITAR Museum when this exhibit comes to your city. Until then, here's a video I created of the guitar in action. Hope you enjoy it.