Artistic Homage to the Suds

September 4, 2013 |

“The Pour House” by Mel Dominguez
Mixed media on found wood

“We should do a beer art show,” Nathan Saxton declared at Borderlands Brewing Company about a year ago. “Everyone laughed,” Saxton recounts, “and then, everyone kind of looked at each other and said, ‘We should do a beer art show!’”

So the planning began, and the Beer-Flavored Art Show was born.

“It’s been in various stages for almost a year,” says Saxton, proprietor of Borealis Arts Custom Framing and this exhibit’s curator. Saxton culled together artists through a general announcement, but many of the pieces were acquired by contacting people he had worked with for previous exhibits – specifically shows he produced that celebrated the sports of bicycling and soccer through artistic renderings.

Admittedly, Saxton said via email, he tends to organize art shows around his personal interests. “I love bicycles, so I started an annual exhibit of bicycle-themed posters every November. Soccer is another passion of mine, so I produce a similar show for my fellow soccer fanatics in February. I like beer, so an art show about that just seemed like the natural thing to do!”

And, naturally, the best locales to host a beer-themed art show are at local breweries. Approximately 25 pieces will be hung between Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole Ave., and Thunder Canyon Brewery, 220 E. Broadway Blvd.

“Both Borderlands and Thunder Canyon have shown themselves to be strong supporters of the arts and community in general,” Saxton explains, and further explicates that he has been curating the art at Thunder Canyon Brewery since this May and at Borderlands Brewing Company for about a year.

“We’re confident in his taste,” says Mike Mallozzi, co-owner of Borderlands Brewing. “We met because Nathan’s framing shop (Borealis Arts) was next door. We always wanted to have local art, and it was a chance to work with him; it made sense because he is already involved in the art community.”

Anyone who really understands brewing and brewers knows that crafting beer is a combination of art, science, passion and dedication. It isn’t that much different than the processes an artist goes through to produce their creations.

“Will Skate for Beer” screenprint by Rich Rogowski

Saxton’s exhibit statement fleshes out the concept: “Have you ever had a chance to meet a brewer of beer? If not, I strongly recommend you seek one out. You’ll find him or her to be one of the most creative, passionate, articulate and intelligent people around. Have you ever had a chance to meet an artist? You’ll find that an artist almost always shares those some qualities. It is partly for this reason that I created The Beer-Flavored Art Show: to pay homage to the creations of a brewmaster through the creations of an artist.

“Another fascinating aspect of this show is that the approaches to creating art are as diverse as the varieties of beer. This show includes very inexpensive prints, stencils and larger paintings, so that just as there is a beer for all tastes, we are hopefully providing art for all tastes.”

This show will no doubt provide art for all tastes, as the current line-up of artists (as of press time) include: Devin Acadiz, Timothy Avila, Tracey Brown, Mel Dominguez, Matt McCoy, Joe Marshall, Joe Pagac, Rich Rogowski and, the curator himself, Nathan Saxton.

The exhibit shall include pieces that were previously made by some the artists and other work created specifically for this themed show. Although there “will be print runs at both venues, some (of the art) will be original work only available at one or the other venue,” Saxon elucidates.

“Each venue is going to have its own opening night ‘gimmick.’ Thunder Canyon will host New Belgium Brewing offering promotions and Borderlands will have growlers painted by local artists on sale.

“Opening night will be the most interesting night to attend,” Saxton intones, because, in addition to the aforementioned, there will also be “tee-shirts and limited run pint glasses with the show’s logo.”

Besides, having the event split between the two breweries encourages people to meander through Downtown to enjoy all of what is happening during 2nd Saturdays on Sept. 14, especially since the venues are a mere five to ten-minute walk from each other, depending on your speed.

The Beer-Flavored Art Show opens on Saturday, Sept. 14, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Details can be found at or by emailing


Category: Arts, Business, Community, FOOD & DRINK