” I believe the beer and art gods came together at the very moment in Tractor history, when Tractor was transitioning from bottles to cans, and somehow convinced Skye to give me a shot at trying my hand at designing the new labels. At least that’s what Skye told me,” said David Santiago, as we talked, but mostly joked about his new “Artist in Residence” appointment at Tractor Brewing Wells Park. David Santiago, for those who don’t know, is a gallery artist, and Tractor Brewing’s exclusive can artist.
When Tractor moved into production and put our: Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Almanac IPA, and Milk Mustachio Milk Stout, in the can, David was given the job to create cans that represented the flavors well, while building a brand from a community point of view. A local Albuquerque artist, by trade, David was a great choice for the homegrown approach and aesthetic that Tractor aims for and hits the mark on.
David is an artist that has a few feathers in his hat, beyond those beautiful cans on shelves around town. He recently entered into a representation situation with Bobby Beals, of Beals and Co, and Kamagraph Skate Company. Together, along with a gaggle of other talented artists, David and Bobby are taking the fine art and consumer mass production based art worlds by storm. You can catch David’s designs on skate decks now, and other items in the very near future. When we asked David about this relationship he said, “Bobby is my right hand man. An art dealer, a curator, a comedian, a friend. He has helped guide me through this crazy wonderful journey that is the art world. He has been involved with curating all his life, so witnessing first hand his ability to bring people together through art is truly amazing. There is never a dull moment when he is around,” said Santiago. We can attest to the “never a dull moment” comment. We thoroughly enjoyed our Beer and Boards art show, and skate jam event last year, and hope to partner with Kamagraph in the warm Summer months to come.
We often wonder about what’s to come, in regards to our relationship with David, here on the Beer Farm. There will someday in our future, come another can – what flavor will it be, is the constant question. We asked him about his desire to create an image for an upcoming flavor, does he have a favorite that inspires his creative nature? ” Shoot, I hope we can every flavor!! Maybe next we can the Double Plow Oatmeal Stout? I don’t think my voice carries any weight in that arena but I’m ready to design whatever Tractor sends my way, he said…” Well, that makes things easy; knowing you can trust an artist to pull off the aesthetic you are looking for, no matter the context and reference material he or she is given, is a wonderful gift to have at a business’ disposal.
We are grateful to have David as part of the Tractor team, and very excited to announce, and welcome him as our inaugural Artist in Residence. For the entire year of 2016, from March 2016, until March 2017, David’s works will hang in our hallway. He will change things, add pieces, and take pieces away; you have to be present to see what is new in the halls each time you visit. We are excited to have such an incredible artist to start this journey with. We look forward to the many artists that will take up residence at our Wells Park location as we grow with the city and community that supports us so very well.
As a final question, we figured we would ask David where he sees himself in ten years – in 2026… “Tractor Brewing Co. CEO. If I’m lucky…” he said. We have no comment on that one. Cheers!