THOMAS, GA – 2/11/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — The Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to present a new public art design project located in McDuffie County. Titled McTell’s 12-String Strut, the project is meant to recognize and honor the legacy of Blind Willie McTell, his music, and the fact that such an influential musician was born and lived in McDuffie County. Local artists will create unique designs for 12, 7-foot-tall polyurethane replicas of 12-string Stella guitars. The Stella Guitar was chosen as the iconic symbol of this project because it was Blind Willie McTell’s instrument of choice.
The project was initiated by the Thomson-McDuffie County CVB after the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) presented a Tourism Product Development Report to officials and citizens of Thomson-McDuffie County. Included in the recommendations of this report were a public art component, interpretation, and everyday exposure of Blind Willie McTell’s legacy. This project combines all 3 of these components into one dynamic project that will be a combination of art and history. This project will educate visitors and locals about the life of Georgia musician, Blind Willie McTell, thru visuals and audio. It also supports the annual music festival held in his honor, the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, which is in its 23rd year; and coincides with the GDEcD’s Year of Georgia Music which will use Georgia’s musical heritage, music superstars, and iconic music venues to promote tourism in the Peach State during 2016.
The guitars were crafted by Icon Poly, a 3-D fabricator in Gibbon, Nebraska. Artists were recruited through a call for applications and are working on their unique designs now. There will be a Reveal Party at the Thomson Depot on March 18, 2016, at 6:30 pm (free and open to the public) that will also include a performance by Steve James, an expert on the blues style played by Blind Willie McTell. The guitars will then be installed in approved locations throughout the city and county. The core area for the guitars will be in the Downtown/ Main St area of Thomson, GA. The downtown display location will include an audio box with the guitar that will play samples of Blind Willie McTell’s music as well as tell his story. The intended length of the display would be 3 years.
Located just 30 minutes west of Augusta, GA, the Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization of McDuffie County, Georgia. Their mission is to promote the Thomson-McDuffie area as an attractive destination to the public by marketing the area’s hospitality, attractions, events, and facilities in order to create a positive economic impact on McDuffie County and to enhance the area’s quality of life.