When the American Craft Council (ACC) returns to the Cobb Galleria Centre for its 23nd annual Atlanta Show in March, Marietta stained glass guitar artist Paul Heller will join ranks with 240 other master craft artisans for the prestigious show.
As the largest juried event of its kind in the Southeast, the ACC Show is known as the nation’s premier marketplace for handcrafted basketry, ceramics, fashion wearables, furniture, glass, jewelry, home decor and more.
Paul Heller and his Cobb County art studio Exquisite Custom Guitar Art's reputation for Stained Glass Guitar art has taken root in the music–themed cities of Nashville, Austin, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Heller has professional musicians like Miranda Lambert, Rodney Atkins and Lee Brice praising his work.
As he markets his guitars across the country, Heller has found that his meticulous craft process is unique. He creates full scale three-dimensional Guitar Art by combining stained glass, mosaics and iconic musical imagery. The Guitar Art can be illuminated by using state-of-the-art back-lighting technology.
“Most Guitar Art is based on either painting or mosaics with small ceramic pieces,” said Heller. “I enhance the beauty by using the magnificence of large pieces of stained glass accessorized with pieces of mosaic tiles, metals and other creative materials.”
To make his work even more remarkable, the varying illumination levels create heightened intrigue as the coloration of the stained glass when illuminated is dramatically different than the unlit state.
“Art can be very interesting, but you can imagine how captivating art becomes when it is constantly changing,” said Heller.
Heller’s passion for this new endeavor started innocently when he and his wife, Diane, took an introductory art class at Spruill Arts Center in Dunwoody.
“It was an eight-week class, and after the first class, we travelled to Destin, FL for a singer-songwriter festival,” said Heller. “Since we love folk and country music, it seemed logical that my first class project would be an acoustic guitar.”
While the Hellers designed the colors to be placed in his home, their first red guitar landed in the lobby at Sound Emporium, a prestigious Nashville recording studio home to professional artists including Sugarland, Kenny Rogers, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.
Prior to creating this concept that took off like a top hit song, Heller was a management consultant, hospitality owner/operator and a professor teaching business courses at area Atlanta universities.
His strong business sense and hospitality background have helped his Guitar Art clientele grow in volume and prestige.
To date, his marketing efforts have focused on music-themed cities where Guitar Art is logical for public areas within commercial developments including hotels, office buildings, apartments and retail centers.
He is also extending his career into the public art arena, and is most excited about a two-guitar interactive and educational piece being considered by the Austin Children’s Museum.
- Friday, March 15 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Cobb Galleria Centre
- Preview Party March 14 from 6 – 9 p.m., with proceeds co-benefitting ACC and the Hambidge Center.
- To preview the show, visit craftcouncil.org/atlanta.