Local guitar makers to display art piece at show

Tyler Robbins, who worked with Zack Balwinski on an art piece called “The Mission,” is pictured Monday. “The Mission” will be on display at the Art Basel show in Miami, Florida, this week. (Pioneer photo/Tim Rath)

BIG RAPIDS — Guitar makers at Bryan Galloup’s School of Guitar Building and Repair, 10840 Northland Drive, are building custom art pieces to display at a nationally known art show.

Zack Balwinski and Tyler Robbins, former students at Galloup’s who now work at the facility, have been building a 6-foot, white oak chair and custom guitar for the past three months. Today, the items will be taken down to Miami, Florida, for the Art Basel Miami Art Week event.

“It’s been a lot of work, a lot of late nights. Tyler and I have certainly put a lot of design time in,” Balwinski said. “I’ll be happy when it’s done, but I’m happier with how it came together.”

The pieces will be on display at Walt Grace Vintage, a guitar and car gallery, from Dec. 6-9, before being sold.

According to organizers, Art Basel Miami Art Week will feature more than “200 of the world’s leading international modern and contemporary art galleries display artworks by over 4,000 artists, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, film, video and digital art.”

The guitar and chair have interactive elements to them, said Bryan Galloup, who owns the school and repair shop. The player can take down the guitar from a stand on the chair, turn and sit to play. Under the seat is a compartment in which a bottle of wine and two glasses are neatly tucked away.

Design elements from the pieces come from the work of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The piece is called “The Mission,” a nod to the mission-style furniture associated with Wright as well as the collaborative nature of the project.

“The chair itself is museum-grade work,” Galloup said. “The guitar is a world-class instrument. I’m very proud.”

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