Eric Worden’s GuitART

eric worden guitart“What’s your favorite Beatles song?” Eric Worden asks as he flattens a piece of wine foil with a pen. He’s completely in his element at this moment, sitting at a desk cluttered with stacks of CDs, surrounded by variations of guitar art hanging from the walls of his Virginia Beach office.

From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. each weekday morning, he’s known as The Hometown Guy for 102.1 The Tide. The station plays a varied selection of tunes, old and new, popular and unheard of. When he’s not pumping out the tunes for loyal listeners, he may be doing voiceovers for radio ads and national TV as a professional voice actor for Virginia Beach’s Studio Center. Or he may be donating his time to the non-profit educational program he co-founded, Magic—The State of the Arts.

Today, however, he’s busy with yet another project that he calls GuitART. Worden collects different colored wine foils (the wrapping on the tops of wine bottles that most people cut off and discard), trims them into rectangles and then inscribes words on the foil using a regular pen—only he writes the words backward so that it creates a reverse emboss with the letters. Then he staples the foils to guitars that he finds in thrift stores to create a colorful collage of meaningful messages.

eric worden guitartThe idea came to him when he was visiting a Goodwill store in Seattle with his mother. At the café within the store, his mom ordered a piece of pie that was served to her in the pie tin. “I grabbed the tin and took a pen out of my pocket and I wrote, ‘I love you’ backwards on the tin and held it up for my mom,” Worden explains. “She said, ‘That looks really cool,’ and I thought, ‘It really kind of does.’”

Years later, after drinking a glass of wine and pulling off the foil he realized that the material had the same effect as the pie tin and decided to put the foils to use as art. “It encapsulates so much of what I love and the beauty of art—your expression—your lens.”

He’s been creating GuitART for about 12 years now and has made approximately 35 different designs—some are decorated with cardboard album covers and some are created from resin. Even after dedicating so much time and effort to this endeavor, the disc jockey rarely turns a profit for his own pocket; he donates the majority of the art to be auctioned off for non-profit organizations. He says that because he works for a station that steps up for local non-profits.

The one he’s working on today is for a family who recently lost their 4-year-old son due to a brain abnormality discovered before he was even born. “His daddy loves the Beatles, so I started making this for him,” Worden explains. He grabs a pen and inscribes (backward, of course) the words All you need is then draws a heart around the phrase to illustrate love. The phrase seems fitting for this project because, as Worden says, “Music is the international language of love—and more.”

To inquire about ordering a custom piece of GuitART, contact Eric Worden at

eric worden guitart

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