Exhibit of folk art guitars on view this month at Rockport library

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    ROCKPORT — The Rockport Public Library is reopening after a month-long closure for repairs, and they are ready to rock ’n' roll — literally!, according to the library, in a news release. From November 6 through November 29, the library will host “Four Strings and Pickup”, a show of handcrafted cigar box guitars, amplifiers, and amplitars (guitar with built-in amp) created by Midcoast artisan Jon Friese.

    An artist reception will be held at the library on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 1 to 3 p.m., where the public will have a chance to try playing some of the guitars and talk to Friese about his work. 

    Friese founded JonBoy Guitars and Amps in 2020 to keep himself busy in his home workshop during the pandemic. He soon opened an online store on the Etsy platform selling a wide variety of fully functional folk art instruments upcycled primarily from old cigar boxes.

    “I get inspired walking around thrift stores too,” says Friese. “I’ve crafted guitars and amps using everything from chocolate tins to chicken roasting pans.”

    Friese has sold over 220 instruments to people all over the world.

    “I was recently contacted by a couple in their 80s from Yuma, Arizona who were looking to try a new hobby and wanted his-and-hers cigar box guitars.”

    Fans have also reached out to Friese requesting custom designs, including left-handed instruments and guitars made from personal cigar boxes.

    Jon Friese grew up in New Jersey and Southern California and spent his childhood summers at his grandparents’ home in Spruce Head. He studied music in California before moving to Miami, Florida in the mid 1970s. Friese sold musical instruments in Miami for most of his career, which provided him the opportunity to meet many legendary performers. He is now retired, lives in Rockland with his wife, Patti, and spends his time tinkering and being a cool grandfather.

    Learn more about the exhibit, the reception, and other upcoming offerings from the Rockport Public Library by visiting rockportlibrary.net.

    Event Date: 

    Sat, 11/18/2023 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Event Location: 

    Rockport Public Library


    1 Limerock Street
    Rockport, ME 04856
    United States