Exhibitors 2015


Pheo guitars are one of a kind instruments built by artist Phil Sylvester. Originally a professional guitarist, Sylvester attended Berklee College of Music, then later earned degrees in mathematics and architecture. In 1981, Sylvester began focusing on visual art, creating drawings, paintings, and sculpture. In 1997, he began building guitars in the same way that artists paint. Each Pheo is built, torn apart, then rebuilt, time and again, until Sylvester is satisfied with its appearance, action, and tone. Sylvester initially creates each guitar purely for himself, as self expression and to study what makes great guitars great.

The Holy Grail Guitar Show allows me to meet luthiers whose work I admire, to show my instruments, in person, to many of the world’s most serious collectors, and to do all of this within an elegantly designed, manageably sized show of the highest standards.

I have always loved great guitars and initially began building to discover what makes the great ones so good. Having been a visual artist since 1981, I also wanted to see if one could build instruments in the way fine artists create paintings, that is, building, tearing down, then rebuilding, over and over, to arrive at a destination that is both raw and exceptional. I chose to participate in the Holy Grail show because it is a small, quiet, elegantly designed show that attracts the best luthiers and most serious guitar connoisseurs in the world.