Details of the Newport Guitar Festival ‘s Blue Guitar Exhibition

We have had a number of requests for more parameters for the Blue Guitar Exhibition including some questions concerning about how big a deal the Exhibition is.
As most people are aware, the late Scott Chinery contributed a lot toward kicking off the current Modern Golden Age of Guitar building by commissioning new guitars from modern masters. One such organized commission was the famous Blue Guitar Exhibition during which he commissioned archtop guitars, all using the same color blue.

While Scott’s contributions cannot be denied, including the Blue Guitar’s display at the Smithsonian, his concept was to restrict the exhibition and the way in which builders used colors and the type of guitars they produced. Our exhibition is taking the concept to another level.

We are asking guitar makers of all types to “go wild” and let their imagination produce guitars which conjure the words “blue guitar” in their own minds. Just as “blue” means something different to everyone, “guitar” means something different to everyone.

Our first blue guitars received in the exhibition are the Safire Birdfish Guitar created by noted German designer Ulrich Teuffel. Look it up on the web on our site and prepare to have your mind blown, if not significantly expanded. A second guitar in the exhibition is by Bullet Proof Guitars. It is an electric wrapped in blue Kevlar. While not expensive, they are unbelievably nice instruments with a novel use of blue material. We have blue archtops coming and a plethora of blue electrics in all shades and styles, including, at the outer edge of blue, blue-green seafoam matching Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars thrown in for fun.

We are encouraging builders to be creative in every way and form possible, ranging from the type of guitar to the color, acoustic to electric, navy blue to blue-green. We are celebrating the guitar within the concept of “blue,” which inspired creativity more than a decade ago.

The Newport Festival is using this vehicle to generate publicity for the guitar building community (might we get some blue amplifiers as well?) and will be submitting blue guitars in groups to magazines, publications, internet and television across the globe. Beyond that, blue guitars which are finished within six weeks of the show will be featured together in the show book, and they will be displayed together in a special section of the show exhibit floor. Builders who would prefer to have their blue guitars at their own tables for at least part of the show, will be allowed to do so, with special signs on the guitars to indicate that they are part of the exhibition.

Most of all this is meant to be fun for the luthier community and inspire creativity in an unlimited way, as opposed the more limited parameters of the first exhibition. It is our hope that by allowing and even encouraging electric blue guitars, that the instruments can be built without necessarily incurring a great deal of expense, but with the maximum amount of experimentation—allowing a wider variety of the public to buy these instruments and participate in the fun. Let the blue games begin!