An iconic piece of art stands at the center of Kirkwood’s Cars & Guitars festival. The towering Martin guitar was sculpted by Brian Watson, a local metal artist from Augusta, Missouri. Built over three years, the guitar is made from repurposed materials whose age and patina embody the beauty of the C. F. Martin heritage.
“The guitar has a timeless D Series body shape with period Grover tuning machines that actually turn, and Martin’s legendary bracing pattern that supports the soundboard,” said Brian. All the metal materials were procured from Augusta and the surrounding area.
Brian had the guitar on display in front of his art studio on Jackson Street in downtown Augusta. When Zoe Perkins, current Kirkwood Arts Commission Chair, drove by and saw it, she knew it would be perfect for the Cars & Guitars festival.
After it became a festival favorite, the Cars & Guitars committee started to explore pathways to purchase the guitar for the city. Police Sergeant Dan Andert simply made one phone call to his friend, Tom Endres, to ask if he would help.
“Dan called and asked if I would be interested in purchasing the guitar and donating it to the city,” recalled Tom. “I’m happy to help Dan and the police department anytime they ask.”
Tom is the owner of the Phillips 66 Station in Downtown Kirkwood. “I bought the business when I was 23,” said Tom. “This is our 47th year in business.”
The list of Tom’s donations to the police department includes the pristinely restored, vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle on display in the lobby of the police department; Shop-With-A-Cop, food and drinks for the police officers and their families at their annual party in the park; restored roasters and barbecue pits; and police dogs.
Thanks to Tom's philanthropy, Kirkwood keeps strumming along with cool things.