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artspace: James Burton - Master of the Telecaster

  • artspace 708 Texas Street Shreveport, LA, 71101 United States (map)

Exhibition opening(s)
Friday June 2, 2017
from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 pm p.m.
at artspace Shreveport.

(Shreveport, LA) – THE ART OF THE GUITAR…nobody illustrates it in bolder “living color” than “The Master of the Telecaster,“ James Burton.  From vivid pink paisley to flaming red hot, Burton’s guitars and his unmistakable riffs and soft bending sounds have defined rock ‘n roll for more than six decades and have made him one of the world’s greatest musical legends.  So get ready to see Burton burn up the fret board because it’s gonna be a hot time in the city that art built this summer when Shreveport guitar legend, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and Grammy award winner James Burton opens his guitar collection to the public in a never-before-seen exhibition.  Additionally, area Guitar Collectors  bring their one of a kind Guitars for display.  Some are pure celebrity--autographed by stars like Mick Jagger--and others are delightfully “artistic” such as the mosaic tile Art Guitars or the Cigar Box Guitar that really plays!  The Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) presents the two Exhibits as the “ART OF THE GUITAR,” opening, Friday June 2, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 pm p.m. at artspace Shreveport.
James Burton will open the night with a “riff or two” on his guitar to set the stage for 12 weeks of dynamic programming and entertainment.  Burton and wife Louise are curating the exhibit, selecting from Jame’s guitar collection, celebrity “guest guitars” from friends, and memorabilia from his legendary Rockabilly life. Burton has been playing professionally since he was 14 years old and has racked up an impressive list of artists with whom he has performed including Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, John Denver, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello and Brad Paisley.
“I’m honored and excited about the ‘Art of the Guitar’ exhibitions and proud to present “James Burton: Master of the Telecaster” at artspace. What a wonderful organization this is!  They do an incredible job of bringing culture to the area,” said honoree James Burton. 

“It’s humbling when your hometown shows their appreciation of your achievements through life.  Although I have lived in other places and work all over the world, Shreveport has always been and will always be my hometown.  I just love the people here.  A lot of hard work has gone into this exhibition by all so that the public can come and enjoy.  I’d like to invite everyone to come down to artspace June 2 to August 19, and hopefully I may see you there.  God bless!,” added Burton.
The twelve weeks of summertime fun will include Burton playing and talking about his life and work.  Films Burton appeared in--“Black and White Nights” with Roy Orbison and “Aloha from Hawaii” with Elvis Presley--will also be shown during the summer exhibit. Thursdays will feature LIVE performances with a variety of Guitar Musicians, Wednesday evenings will be spent with local collectors telling the tales of their guitars and educational programming for all ages will be an important part of the experience.
The “Art of the Guitar” Exhibition will spread over two floors of artspace Shreveport with the MainSpace on the first floor housing most of the Burton memorabilia and a special exhibit showing the evolution of all of the Burton guitars designed specifically for him by Fender, beginning with his first signature Telecaster offered in 1991 and based on Burton’s workhorse ’53 Tele.  The second floor, CoolSpace exhibit, entitled “Guitar Heroes” will give the public a unique opportunity to hear the “Stories of the Strings” on Wednesday nights, with the infamous “All Y’all” husband/wife storytelling team of Chris Jay and Sarah Herbert helping guitar owners tell the stories of their guitars.  Thursday nights are music tributes to James Burton – area guitarists and guitar bands will perform each Thursday evening from 6 – 8 pm, at artspace, 708 Texas Street.  
The design of the “ART OF THE GUITAR” exhibition will offer a sneak peek into the design of the James Burton Vintage Car and Guitar Museum that will be located across the street from the Municipal Auditorium where Burton first played when he was 14 years old and on one of only two streets in the world named after Elvis.  The museum will showcase Burton’s unique guitar collection and some of his classic cars as well as guitars and cars from some of his celebrity pals.
“The ‘ART OF THE GUITAR’ exhibition featuring James Burton as the ‘Master of the Telecaster,’ is another big step in developing Shreveport Common - the collaborative initiative to transform nine blocks of the long neglected western edge of downtown Shreveport from blight to artistic vibrancy,“ said Pam Atchison, Executive Director of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. 


Atchison added, “During the 18 month Shreveport Common planning process, James and Louise shared their vision for transforming the James Burton studios to the James Burton Vintage Car and Guitar Museum that will attract and engage visitors and community members... adding to the excitement and daily activity of Shreveport Common. 

Already thousands of visitors come to the Municipal Auditorium each year to learn about the historic music heritage fostered on that stage!  Building tours including the backstage dressing rooms are a popular tourist attraction!  The ‘Art of the Guitar’ exhibition is a "pilot project" to engage the community in what will be here on a much larger scale and engage private sector commitment.  It's a relatively small, but substantial, first step in making the Burtons’ dream a reality!”
An International Guitar Festival is hosted by the James Burton Foundation to help raise funds to support music education for those in need through guitar donations and music instruction to schools, hospitals and community organizations.  It is Burton’s mission through the James Burton Foundation to give children the lifelong gift of music to pass on for generations.  The Foundation has given thousands of guitars and provided musical instruction in hospitals and schools to children, young adults and veterans.
Children’s activities will play an integral part in the future Burton museum and programming for students of all ages will be a big part of the “ART OF THE GUITAR” summer exhibition.  Supporting and inspiring kids is the main focal point of the James Burton Foundation and they are instrumental in getting music education back into the schools locally and around the world.  Educational programming through several summer camps designed for various ages will be key to the “ART OF THE GUITAR” exhibition.  Contact artspace at 318-674-6535 or 318-673-6500 for more information on these fun summer camps or visit the artspace website at
The ART OF THE GUITAR Exhibition featuring “The Master of the Telecaster,” James Burton will open at Artspace in Shreveport on Friday, June 2, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm and will run through Saturday, August 19, 2017.  The opening will feature James Burton, his signature guitars and celebrity guitars and memorabilia from his six-decade, legendary musical history.  For more information, visit