Beth Tobey

A SCRAP-inspired collaboration brings a modern edge to a classic guitar

Beth Tobey @ 5/19/2017

I recently sat down with artist Dana Peters, luthier Charles Sutton and gallerist Robert Blitzer to talk about the collaboration between Charles and Dana on a baroque-style guitar. The guitar includes Dana’s abstract layered paper art inside – a new take gilded paper rosettes found in baroque guitars. You can see the guitar in person this Saturday, May 20, 2017 between 3:00pm-5:00pm at the R. Blitzer Gallery located at 2801 Mission St. in the former Wrigley building.

Charles: I have to tell you. I am retired. I’m an artist now and do flamenco music but I came to the SCRAP show. When I saw Dana’s paper dioramas at the SCRAP show in December – they were so nice - and it reminded me of the gilded or parchment rosettes inside of guitars in the seventeenth century – and I felt that I  had to do it –I came out of retirement for this project.

Dana: I was so happy when he asked me! I had seen his guitars before but had not thought about collaboration. I don’t know why I didn’t - but I’m glad Charles did!


When I saw Dana’s paper dioramas at the SCRAP show in December – they were so nice - and it reminded me of the gilded or parchment rosettes inside of guitars in the 17th century – and I felt that I had to do it –I came out of retirement for this project.

— Charles Sutton

I really like to branch away from traditional ways of making art and Charles likes to branch away from traditional ways of making guitars – so it made sense. We both wanted to do something unique – and whenever I meet someone who wants to do something unique – whether a musician or fashion designer and so on – I feel like there is a lot of potential to make something that hasn’t been made before. I think it turned out really well and I’m excited for people to see it.

Robert: Beth, so your original questions was “How did this happen?” and it was the SCRAP program that brought this together under your leadership.

Beth: I’m so glad to hear that because SCRAP is one part educating the public about consumption and waste but also a way to allow artist to try new things and push the boundaries – to use materials maybe they  have not before or try new techniques. I tell them that it’s a safe place to experiment.


Charles Dana And Robert

Charles: I have to say that when I saw the SCRAP show it was really extraordinary. I’ve seen plenty of shows of work made from found objects but this went above and beyond that.

Dana: One of the great things about SCRAP as well as showing at the R. Blitzer Gallery is the collaborations that came out of it. In fact, it always seems that when I come here for First Friday events I always meet someone I want to collaborate with. First Friday is great for networking and finding collaborators.

Charles: I really think the R. Blitzer Gallery is one of the best things to happen to Santa Cruz. I really mean that – the way Rob brings in these shows that are all different—it’s wonderful! That is why so many people come every First Friday to see the newest show.

You can see the guitar in person this Saturday, May 20, 2017 between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. at the R. Blitzer Gallery located at 2801 Mission St. Santa Cruz, CA  - in the former Wrigley building. More information here.