The guitar is a beautiful instrument with a long, colourful history spanning eras and continents.
This weekend Wanganui guitarists are showcasing their beloved instruments in the first-ever celebration of River City Guitars, to be held at the Sarjeant Gallery.
On display will be more than 30 vintage and specialist guitars of various eras, manufacturers, and styles alongside a slide show of 400 intimate photographs of the guitars created by photographer Mark Brimblecombe.
What began as an experimental photographic project by Mr Brimblecombe, with Jason Sad of the Two Rivers band and other Wanganui musicians, has evolved into a serious project to unearth and display the wealth of guitar history in the River City.
"We would get together on a Friday evening and I started photographing all these beautiful, vintage guitars," Mr Brimblecombe said. "We were thinking about putting together a book or a calendar to showcase these beautiful objects, and it sort of snowballed."
Mr Sad has been hard at work contacting musicians and collectors as he organises and promotes the event throughout the country. He is keen to see it become an annual fixture.
"If this weekend goes well, and we garner interest from outside Wanganui, we'll be able to make this a national event, hopefully attracting collectors from all over and, in turn, we might be able to source funding to expand and publish the photographs in a book."
Although they lack funding, they have secured sponsorship from Gatshack Music, which has organised a Squier Stratocaster guitar giveaway, while The Rock Shop in Palmerston North and Wanganui's Sasquatch Studio has provided display stands.
Despite the lack of income from the event, Mr Sad and Mr Brimblecombe are committed to "their labour of love".
"As are all the musicians and contributors," Mr Sad said.
"This is something we are really passionate about, and love being involved with.
"We hope this can become a symposium for collectors and the interested to come and display, photograph and discuss their guitars and the history behind their manufacture and ownership."
Among the unusual guitars is an English example built in the early 1900s using a distinctly 19th century design.
Mr Sad hopes this starting point will pave the way for other collectors from around New Zealand to come and display their wares.
As well as the exhibition, which runs Saturday and Sunday, there will be live, acoustic music at the gallery and an electric stage show at Majestic Square, which Mayor Annette Main will open.
Featured bands at the square include Two Rivers, The Blues Buffet and Katy Lied.
The acoustic sets are to be announced.