Art amplified: Peter Malinoski crafts guitars as artist-in-residence

After hours of work, the guitar begins to take shape at the end of day two.

Brian Keck

Maryland native Peter Malinoski is being featured as the College of Design artist-in-residence for the week of Feb. 3.

Malinoski makes guitars for a living and has been putting on a workshop for interested students where he shows students how to craft their own guitar in under a week.

Malinoski, who has been making his own guitars for 30 years, creates guitars with his own style. The guitar he is making at the workshop will be his 185th guitar made.

“They are unique to me, that was the main thing, I want to make my guitar and not someone else’s,” said Malinoski.

Within the past five years Malinoski has focused strictly on just making guitars; he typically can make 35 to 40 in a year.

Malinoski’s guitar will be featured at noon Feb. 7 in a free concert in the College of Design’s Lyle E. Lightfoot Forum.

The College of Design’s lecture and exhibitions committee and industrial design program sponsored Malinoski’s visit.

Chris Martin, associate professor in integrated studio arts, brought Malinoski to Iowa State after he met him at a furniture convention.

”I’ve always admired his work and just recently I’ve had a number of students who have an interest of making electric guitars,” Martin said. Martin said bringing Malinoski to Ames has always been in the back of his mind.

The College of Design brings visiting artists so students are able to meet a professional in their specific field of study.

“Bringing someone who is doing something different than what is happening here gives students a more holistic idea of what they can do out in the world once they finish school,” Martin said. “[Visiting artists] create an opportunity for students to see what they can possibly be doing”.

Visiting art programs allow students to see and interact with artists who are succeeding in their area of study.

“They get excited,” Martin said. “Students get excited to see other people’s work and be able to talk to another maker who is making a living at it”.

Artists like Malinoski are able to come to universities like Iowa State and give students an out-of-the-classroom learning experience.

“They get it, they understand what’s going on” Malinoski said “I feel like they can do it, I like to demystify it and show that [making a guitar] isn’t a scary thing”

Malinoski hopes he can inspire students to try making their own guitars and be able to receive the same joy he has at making guitars.

“[My favorite part] is getting to hand a guitar to really good musicians who can do amazing things with them” Malinoski said.

Malinoski presented a selection of his guitars Feb. 3 in Morrill Hall.