Editor’s note: Every now and again we get a request for a guest post. In this case, it came from Carlos Contreras, a long-time friend of the Crew. He wanted to highlight a local artist who has painted the first large-scale mural at Red Door Brewing, so of course we said yes. — S
“I have been drawing since I was a kid,” says Matthew Anderson. Anderson has been honing his craft since birth – and it’s paid off. He has now “given birth” to a larger than life “stamp” on the side of a notable building when it comes to the brewery scene here in Burque. The next time you roll on in to Red Door Brewing on Candelaria, you’ll get to pay witness to Anderson’s creation/new addition to the outdoor ambiance, thanks to a “mural a la Matt.”
In his day job, Anderson works at a local jewelry supply company.
“I get to work in the jewelry industry with some amazing metal smiths. My days at Rio Grande are spent working with the folks that make jewelry components in silver and gold,” he said. Silver and gold, eh? Perhaps that explains Anderson’s affinity with robots – metal … who knows. What we do know, is if you head on over you’ll see what we are talking about … hint, hint…
You know, anything to get Burque brew scene regulars and newbies out for a beer. If that’s not a good enough reason — perhaps you’ll take the reason for the mural in the first place, worthy of you lending some support local love to this site for suds.
“Red Door supports local artists by hanging work for a month and taking only a small percentage – 10 percent. They gave me my first opportunity and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I’ve shown here there three times,” said Anderson.
“Ali, Chaya and Whitney, the three women that I’ve worked with here are all very generous and supportive. Ali really likes my work and one day I posted on Facebook that I wanted to do a mural. I think I had a response from Ali in a day working out details.”
So there you have it — sometimes it really is just meant to be. We won’t say “easy,” because judging from the progress shots — in this summer heat, Anderson’s feat has been anything but easy. Although pathing a path as an artist is anything but easy in any scene. Anderson talked a bit about how his successes and opportunities in the Albuquerque brewery and art scenes have been enjoyable and encouraging.
“I’ve also had my work featured at O’Niell’s and Boxing Bear. I’ve also done paint classes at M’tucci’s Moderno and Steel Bender Brewyard that have been huge successes. I’m planning more later this summer,” he said.
It hasn’t just “worked” for Anderson, though; he touched on this reality as well, noticing a growth in our local economy that seems to support quite a few creatives and their endeavors.
“The craft beer explosion has brought soul and community to Albuquerque. Before craft beer, places served tasteless beer and focused on turning tables. Now you can hang out, meet new people and have a unique experience in your neighborhood,” he said.
So if you’re in the neighborhood sometime soon, you ought to check out the FIRST of Anderson’s murals. That’s right, it’s the first of its kind.
That’s exciting right? For Matt, it’s both exciting and nerve wracking.
“What an incredible amount of trust they’re putting in me. If it all goes south I can always paint over it,” he joked.
We say joked because we know the outcome is going to be stunning and fun all at the same time.
“I hope people smile when they sit next to it. I want kids to imagine they can do something like that too,” said the fun-loving artist.
“It means the world. I will have something the public can see for years. I am deeply indebted to Red Door for all they’ve done to support me and art in Albuquerque,” he added.
We asked him to add to the conversation, a bit about his future plans – he said, “I am always available for more work. I also paint canvasses and wood panels to be sold. I also take my creations and put them on T-shirts. I would love to get together with a group of kids for a community project.”
Hmm, something tells us he might be getting a few phone calls, every time a community minded person sits on Red Door’s patio and has a few Pilsners while thinking about public art…
We sure hope we’re right — and we know you do too.