This afternoon I visited the Texas Folklife House Gallery in north Austin to see their exhibit of cigar box guitars by Tomas Salas and W T Bryant. I had seen an article about them in the Austin American-Statesman a few days ago and was intrigued by the guitars.
The two men are local cultural workers who have been building cigar box guitars for a few years. The guitars are made from found objects and range from one-string pieces to double neck, amplified guitars. Some of them are quite elaborate and beautiful. The guitars are playable art and have been used for decades.
Tomas Salas is an actor, set design engineer and long-time cultural activist in central Texas. He was one of the founders of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center and is a regular contractor of Texas Folklife. W T Bryant is an actor, director and designer who has dabbled in blacksmithing, photography and ceramics. W T sometimes pretends to play guitar. Both Salas and Bryant discovered Cigar Box Guitars several years ago and fell in love with them as an art form.
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of Texas. For more than thirty years they have honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities. They explore the importance of the traditions in contemporary society and celebrate them by providing accessible arts experiences. (www.texasfolklife.org)
Daisy had a much-needed bath this afternoon by John, a young fellow with his own RV service business. He will be back tomorrow to wax it, weather permitting. He does a good job and is reliable and business-like.