A new museum exhibit of prophetic instrument builder, Ed Stilley has just opened at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, Arkansas. The display contains more than 20 instruments on display, all on loan from private collections.
Stilley is known for his folk art guitars, fiddles, dulcimers, and recently discovered banjos that feature internal springs, sawblades and other found objects hidden inside. He was compelled to build over 200 of these instruments and give them away to children after receiving a vision from God. See our full article on his works here.
To celebrate the opening, Ozark folk duo, Still on the Hill performed in a newly released video, featuring Kelly Mulhollan playing the Ed Stilley Tribute Guitar built by Termoking, a power-member of Cigar Box Nation member. Termoking built the instrument for Stilley, based on the photo above and sent it from his home in Belgium to Stilley's home in Hogscald Hollow, Arkansas. Since then, Stilley has come to refer to Termoking as the "Man Across the Water." This new song is dedicated to him.
The tribute guitar is a fascinating glimpse of fine lutherie inspired by folk art. Termoking documented the entire building process of the Ed Stilley Tribute back in 2012 and posted the full photo set on Cigar Box Nation. See full photo set.
Update on Ed Stilley's health (Feb 22, 2019): According to Kelly Mulhollan, Stilley survived minor surgery in 2018 and pulled back out of it. Still on the Hill played for him in the hospital room. According to Mulhollan, Stilley "is pretty steady. Still not good at all but no worse and his mind is still clear." As you read this, pray for him.
Ed Stilley's life and works have been chronicled in the book, True Faith True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley, written by Kelly Mulhollan and photographed by Kirk Lanier.
Still on the Hill has just launched a Patreon page where fans can donate monthly to support their music, videos and art. Find out more here. The fascinating duo also runs the Ozark Ball Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Related: This is the third museum exhibit of Ed Stilley's instruments. The instrument were previously on display at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, AR. That exhibit was photographed by Cigar Box Nation member, Bluesboy Jag. See the photos and story here.