Handmade guitar-maker at Opera House in April

Beau Theige Handmade guitars April 2018 at the Historic Ellendale Opera House. Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment 701-349-2490.

This is a very interesting show that features handmade guitars made out of items from around the house like old cake pans, etc. He encourages people to take them off the wall and plug them into an amplifier and play them. This is art you can touch and play. You almost have to see them to really understand the art involved. A really different exhibit than we have ever had.  

About Beau Theige

Husband, father, and hobby rancher on the windswept plains of North Dakota. and he is not a guitar player. He was instantly intrigued by this varied and unique craft, and thus the journey began. While he spends his days in the oil fields outside Boomtown, USA, his nights and weekends are spent crafting Beau Theige Custom Guitars. If you want to get trendy, it's called "upcycling."  Each is handcrafted, inspired by everyday utilitarian objects, antiques, or plain old junk. Half art, half instrument,  Theige says, "that's the fun part, folks: You never can tell what I'll end up with."  

Custom Guitars as art

This non-traditional exhibit of Beau Theige’s guitars will be on display at the Historic Ellendale Opera House during the month of April.. The work isn’t fancy, slick, polished or framed but it still represents a special art form (in fact several arts combined–the creation of the “assemblage” and the creation of a musical instrument).

This is folk art at its most creative. What is the difference between art and craft? This exhibit will pose that question and you the viewer and listener will be allowed to make that decision.

There is a category for folk art and it is broad and wonderful.


Broadly called Folk Art, the genre has multiple subcategories and the boundaries can be contentious.

Generally speaking, Folk Art is rooted in traditions that come from community and culture (i.e.: quilt-making, Germans from Russia Iron Crosses, etc).

Folk Art encompasses a range of utilitarian and decorative media, including cloth, wood, paper, clay, metal and more. If traditional materials are inaccessible, new materials are often substituted, resulting in contemporary expressions of traditional folk art forms. Folk Art is often characterized by a naive style, in which traditional rules of proportion and perspective are not employed.

Beau Theige’s Guitars can be categorized as contemporary Folk Art. He is working in a long tradition of guitar-making, and a long tradition of making instruments out of found objects.

While he did not study with a family member or mentor, he did apprentice himself, through reading, studying, experimenting and exploring to learn his art.

The Beau Theige Custom Guitar touring exhibit is supported in part by a grant to the North Dakota Art Gallery Association from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibit also is supported by Ellendale Tourism, The Historic Ellendale Opera House and the Ellendale Area Arts Council.