Special Live Event: Folk Art of Ed Stilley Featuring Kelly Mulhollan

Apr 21, 2018


April 26 @ 7:30 pm Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, UA Little Rock

Arts & Letters invites you to join us while we record for a show about Kelly Mulhollan’s book  True Faith, True Light, The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley.   Kelly Mulhollan has collected a number of hand-crafted instruments and documented Ed Stilley’s life and work in the book, giving us a glimpse into a singular life of austere devotion. Join us for an evening of education, enlightenment and spiritual elevation as we talk with Kelly and his wife Donna and listen to them as they play Stilley instruments.

Polygraph Lounge’s Rob Schwimmer, Mark Stewart, and Melissa Fathman—no strangers themselves to self-made instruments—are eagerly looking forward to treating the audience a perfomance on Stilley’s instruments.

Tickets are $10. UA Little Rock and UA-Pulaski Tech faculty, staff & students get in free. Call 569-3294 or purchase online https://ualr.tix.com/

Friends of the Arts will host a reception with light hors d’oeuvres and beverages before the event from 6:30–7:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Arts & Letters Radio, KUAR, UA Little Rock Department of Music, The Friends of the Arts, The College of Arts, Letters and Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences and Communication and is part of the Chancellor's Concert Series. 


Ed Stilley was a farmer in Hogscald Hollow, Arkansas. One day while plowing his field, he was overcome with what felt like a heart attack.

As he lay there in the freshly plowed dirt, Ed had a vision. This experience prompted him to make musical instruments from anything at hand and give them away.

Ed worked tirelessly for twenty-five years to create over two hundred instruments, each a crazy quilt of found objects: A rusty door hinge, a steak bone, a stack of dimes, springs, saw blades, pot lids, metal pipes, glass bottles, aerosol cans—anything he could use to build a working guitar, fiddle, or dulcimer. On each instrument Ed inscribed “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.”

Polygraph Lounge

Rob Schwimmer is a composer-pianist/keyboardist, thereminist, vocalist and Continuum player who has performed and recorded throughout the world. Mark Stewart is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and instrument designer.

Since 1998 he has recorded, toured and been musical director with Paul Simon. Melissa Fathman, soprano, is equally at home on the opera stage, in the concert hall and in clubs. She has collaborated with innovative performance artists, composers and educators, and developed and performed in a number of educational projects.