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It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, But They Coat It

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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Call it a big finish that strikes a chord with a crowd.

Two Cleveland institutions—Sherwin-Williams and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—are making music together, collaborating again on a city public-art tradition.

Guitarmania is a once-every-few-years event in which nearly 100 10-foot-tall Fender Stratocaster guitars are transformed into works of art, clear-coated for outdoor display throughout Northeast Ohio, and then auctioned off for a good cause.

 Eric Ortiz puts the finishing touches on his guitar, “No Stone Left Unturned.”

 Photos: Facebook / GuitarMania

Eric Ortiz puts the finishing touches on his guitar, “No Stone Left Unturned.”

The event has raised more than $2 million for the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Beauty with a Benefit

The unique pieces are sponsored by area organizations, then designed, painted, sculpted and decorated by local artists and national celebrities.

Each work is then carefully sprayed with several coats of a protective clearcoat from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes (this year, it was CC931 Ultra 7000 Extreme Speed Clearcoat) to stand up to the elements for outdoor display.

The last stop is the auction block, where the proceeds benefit the region’s charities and the Hall of Fame.

‘Source of Community Pride’

Sherwin-Williams is one of the event’s lead sponsors, along with Key Bank, United Airlines and The Plain Dealer.

“We are proud to support what has become synonymous as a source of community pride and fundraising in Northeast Ohio,” said Adam Chafe, Vice President of Marketing for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.

 Artist Jacqueline Freedman shows off her “Flower Power” guitar.
Artist Jacqueline Freedman shows off her “Flower Power” guitar, sponsored by the United Way of Greater Cleveland.

“As we have in the past, we help house, transport, and provide clear-coating products designed to protect these dozens and dozens of unique Fender Stratocaster-inspired works of art.”

Sherwin-Williams again also sponsored a guitar, this time designed and fabricated by local artist and vocational teacher Pat Downey. The design was inspired by a muscle car/cruising theme.

“Our ‘guitar’ has this aura of popping the hood and looking down at a classic automobile engine, all surrounded by gleaming purple fenders with some ‘old school’ flames painted along the sides,” says Chafe.

The Art of Coating

This year, the clearing process was applied at Mayfield Collision in Bedford Heights, OH. Owner Tom Griffin and his staff volunteered to assist in this process.

 Def Leppard’s Phil Collen splatter-painted a guitar.
Def Leppard’s Phil Collen splatter-painted a guitar provided by Fender Musical Instruments Corp.

“Applying the clearcoat is the final step in completing each of these works of art, but it’s a bit of a complicated procedure,” says Griffin. “We need to review and analyze each artist’s notes and details before spraying. We then make sure the clear coat’s chemicals don’t have any adverse effect on the paint, materials or substrates utilized in the artist’s creation.

“That said, once completed, the clearcoat will then protect these works of art from the Northeast Ohio elements for years—just like it would on the family sedan or SUV.”


Tagged categories: Automotive coatings; Protective coatings; Sherwin-Williams

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