Another entry to our NEW Blog comes today – today, we look at a Tractor “face,” one that is familiar and vibrant, appreciated, and talented. Today, we take time to talk to Kerry Bergen, the mother of Sparrow, our Beertender and a community artist. This mother daughter pair can be found often times painting LIVE at Tractor Brewing events. We appreciate their dedication to craft and community so much that we’ve taken time to create a 2 part blog series – in our faces category, that focuses on them. This is part two – check out “Birds of a Feather,” for part one on Sparrow. Enjoy.
“My daughter and I have been making art together ever since I can remember. It’s what we do, and so painting together on site is a natural thing for us. We inspire and support each other. She’s my best friend, and my mentor. The on site scene (live art) is fun because we can meet new people, paint together, laugh, have fun and just share our art,” said Kerry Bergen when asked about what it’s like to be side by side, slinging paint with her daughter and fellow artist, Sparrow – at local events these days. Kerry really gets a kick out of hanging out and creating in the moment – she talked about her first experience seeing Sparrow paint and how that spawned her own desire and presence. “My daughter was painting live at Tractor, it looked like fun, so, I asked Carlos to let me give it a try and was hooked right away! I really like the energy and spontaneity. The people, music, activity, are a big part of how the piece looks in the end…all just done in the moment,” said Bergen.
Kerry has been around in the art scene of Albuquerque for quite some time. She has taught many young people the value and skill of retablo creation and painting – and now dabbles in nearly every kind of art that can be brought to life with a brush. We chatted a bit about Burque’s variety and ever-changing and evolving landscape, artistically. Bergen said,”The diversity is so broad; there is a venue for everything from cultural arts to contemporary. There is a style of art here that is unique to New Mexico, particularly in Albuquerque. I love the music, street art, poetry, B’boy and how this city stays strong about family and tradition. I also teach cultural arts to children and families at city events, museums, cultural centers and schools through out the city. It’s important to keep our arts and culture alive.” We couldn’t agree more; when art is around, people are alive, perhaps that’s why this mother daughter duo always shows up with smiles on their faces and ready to go, they realize just how much life they add to any situation, with the stoke of a paint brush. They are positive, encouraging, and confident women, who believe in the power of community. When asked about what she would say to other artists becoming part of the art community, Kerry said, “Go with your gut, and develop a good body of work. Art isn’t a competition; it’s an expression of how you see the world. No one is like you, so be confident in what you believe in. Look for a good “fit” for your style, there’s plenty of places to hang work. Be prepared, have business cards, a web site and information about your self; it makes a difference.” There really aren’t any others like Kerry and Sparrow in this city – truly two birds of a feather, and the only of their kind. They are friendly and happy faces around the “Beer Farm.” We always love it when they belly up to the bar and bring along their canvases.
They’re always so inviting to other artists and generous with their time, effort, and knowledge – when asked about advice for budding artists Kerry said, “Don’t give up, get your work out there. It’s not about money…stay focused on your passion! Share it with people, listen to what they say, but keep your vision in mind. Just be who you are, and it will all come together. Everything takes time, so be patient, but never, ever give up. Believe in yourself, it’s a life’s work! I’m having the time of my life now, and new doors are always opening!” Doors are opening left and right and walls are covered end to end by Bergen and her daughter – to catch more of Kerry Bergen’s work check these places: Tractor Brewery Nob Hill, City Hall Cultural Services Dept. and at Flying Star. Also visit her NEW website: kerrybergenart.wix.com/kerrybergenart.
Last but not least, we are a brewery, so we had to ask, “Hey Kerry, what’s your favorite Tractor beer?” “Beer? Lately it’s the cider…or pilsner. Root Beer too!” Oh Kerry, Root Beer? Sure…. We believe you. Cheers!