This One Goes to 11

Cleveland learned a little some thing from the Cow Parade: Don’t have one.

Instead, the home of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is scattering huge replicas of Fender Stratocasters across town as part of Guitar Mania, a public art project cele brating art and music.

Com panies and individuals bought and designed the 10-foot-tall guitars. Keith Richards designed one—it’s white, with a silhouetted hand over the strings and a trail of blood dripping off. Submissions also came from Yoko Ono, Omar Visquel and scores of others—including John Lionti, an associate creative director at local ad agency Liggett-Stashower.

With the help of client Forest City Enterprises, Liggett bought a guitar (for $7,500) to enter into the project and held a contest to select a design. Lionti submitted about a dozen ideas. Among them were a heavy-metal guitar (brushed steel covering the huge fiber glass ax) and a hard-rock guitar (which looks like it’s carved from rock). But his “Air Guitar” (shown here) won the day.

It came to life with the help of Earnie Merritt, a graphic artist and illus tra tor at Liggett, who painted the clouds and sky-blue background. The work sits on Euclid Avenue outside the Wyndham hotel downtown.

“There are a lot of guitars that are a little more compli cated,” Lionti says. “I like the simplicity of the idea. It looks like a piece of art.”

The guitars will be auctioned off in November to benefit the Hall of Fame’s Educational Fund, the United Way and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.