Hilltop Views

Austin guitars pay homage to history

Jake Hartwell

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Austin is known primarily for two reasons: live music and local art. In November 2006, a local, public art project combined these two distinctive Austin features by placing 35 ten-foot guitar statues throughout the downtown Austin area. Local artists proposed design ideas to Gibson Guitars, who co-sponsored the project and selected the top 35 artists. After the guitars were constructed, they were auctioned off for the benefit of four Austin charities: the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the Austin Museum of Art, American Youthworks and Austin Children’s Museum. The various artists made a fervent effort to express the unique qualities of Austin by painting unique aspects of the city on the ten-foot guitar statues. All of the guitars have been strategically placed next to prominent Austin landmarks in order to highlight important features of the city. [email protected]

East end of the South Congress Bridge The “Keep Austin Batty” guitar portrays the bats that make their home under the South Congress bridge. In the evening, especially in August, the bats fly out from underneath the bridge for their nightly insect hunt, which has become a famous sightseeing event for both locals and tourists. Roky Erickson, a pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre, signs the guitar. The mass flight of the bats at dusk is a chance to admire some local art and witness a spectacular show of nature.

301 W. 2nd St. “MusiCapital” commemorates Austin’s status as the Live Music Capital of the World. The piece incorporates iconic images like the longhorn, the Texas state flag and the state capitol building in beautiful detail.

213 W. 5th St. The “Tribute to Clifford Antone” guitar honors Clifford Antone, the founder of Antone’s Home of the Blues, one of the most prominent music venues in the country. He was a mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughn and several other famous musicians. Antone passed away in May 2006. The guitar features a picture of Antone, his birth date and the year he died on a serene blue background. The statue is located in front of Antone’s Home of the Blues.

Town Lake, near Auditorium Shores “Eurycea Sosorum Sass” depicts the rare Barton Springs Salamander, a species found nowhere but at the Barton Springs outflow. The guitar also depicts Austin’s attention to the environment and goal to remain an environmentally responsible city.

832 Congress Avenue “Soul” has a bold white and red color scheme and is both strong and inspired in its simplicity. The word “Soul,” written in a banner below the bridge of the guitar, may pay tribute to the history of Austin’s soulful music or to the city’s general musical spirit itself-it’s up to the observer to decide. The guitar is signed by Alejandro Escovedo, a Mexican-American immigrant who is celebrated for his wonderful alternative country music.


After reading “Fountain undergoing renovations” and “Effects of floods still felt on campus” in the Oct. 21 issue, I found myself a little more than frustrated. Although I understand that all the various repairs on campus need to be done after damage, and I enjoy how well kept St. Edward’s University is, I find it absolutely ridiculous that the university will not be taking extra precautions to stop future flooding.

The price tag for all these repairs will likely equal many years of full scholarships, and it is unbelievable that nothing would be done to prevent similar problems. Although I recognize that St. Edward’s is fairly more generous than many other colleges with financial aid, I wouldn’t mind having some of the $15,000 to renovate the fountain or $10,000 for new carpet go towards my education.

Kate Murray

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Austin guitars pay homage to history