By Dustin Urban
Recent visitors to Eddyline Restaurant and Brewery will have noticed the beautiful new 9’x9’ mural just left of the pub’s entrance. Eddyline owner Mic Heynekamp commissioned University of New Mexico, Albequerque art student Erika Burleigh to distill the outdoorsy spirit of Eddyline, South Main and Buena Vista in this colorful and lively piece.
Arriving in the midst of the pub’s opening festivities in May of 2009, Erika’s first project was to paint the Eddyline sign on the building’s eastern side, facing the South Main Town Square. “I felt really blessed to be a part of the opening celebration and the sense of accomplishment that surrounded it,” Erika told me.
Next came the mural, which is inspired by the name of Eddyline’s India Pale Ale (IPA), “Pedal, Paddle, Pull,” referring to the abundant mountain biking, kayaking and climbing opportunities in and around South Main and Buena Vista. With this guidance, Erika sketched up the composition of the mural.
“With so many elements, [the mural] couldn’t be super naturalistic,” says Erika. “I wanted it to have a good focal point, which became the kayaker in the middle. There’s a good flow with the water; it’s dynamic and has good movement.” The kayaker in the middle was inspired by a photo of South Main co-founder Katie Selby Urban kayaking in the river park, while the climber in the top right quadrant is based on a photo of Andre Spino-Smith in the new Buena Vista Boulder Garden.
Erika began by painting an acrylic primer on the stucco surface. She then sketched the mural using charcoal from the fire pit overlooking the river across the square. Finally she used acrylics to bring the mural to life.
“Erika sees things from the perspective of the people immersed in these activities,” Mic told me. “She bikes and climbs, so she sees it from the perspective of an active participant, not just an artist. You look at the mural and you can envision yourself there. People love it; I had one customer say ‘that mural represents why we want to be here.’ It’s got the water, the mountains, the recreation, the nature.”
Mic now plans to have Erika paint a smaller version of the mural to be sold in Eddyline as prints and perhaps a T-shirt. Ultimately Mic wants this piece to be the art for the Pedal, Paddle, Pull IPA label. Come check out the piece first hand next time your in BV!
Erika can be contacted at eebur(at)unm(dot)edu in the event that you’d like to commission a mural.
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