100 Colorado Creatives: Artist and Westword Artopia star Eric Matelski

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#90: Eric Matelski Much more than just a curator, Eric Matelski is a supporter, advocate and all-around positive public relations man for artists all over Colorado -- which made him an obvious choice for Westword's 2010 MasterMind award. But the self-proclaimed "art pimp" is also an accomplished artist in his own right, known for his live paintings of musicians -- some whipped up beautifully in a matter of minutes -- and chalk art.

In advance of his appearance at Westword's Artopia 2013 this Saturday, February 23, we talked with Matelski about his current collaborations and what inspires him in other artists.

See also: - Event: Artopia 2013 - 100 Colorado Creatives: Sculptor and Westword Artopia participant Jeff Erwine - Photos: Meet the local artists behind Westword's best-looking boxes

Westword: What are you most excited about presenting at this year's Artopia?

Eric Matelski: I was a 2010 MasterMind award winner -- I painted one quick painting that year. I have been looking forward to coming back and being part of this great event again.

Are you working on any project/collaboration coming up that you're looking forward to sharing with the community?

I'm looking forward to showing some new studio pieces in the Tresses art show opening on February 28. I also curate artwork for a few businesses in town -- I have a great display of Matt Wilkinson and Jane Glotzer's art at Dazzle and I'm showing Phil Bender's work at The Lobby. I'm also looking forward to showing Marie Gibbons's new art at The MacSpa.

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Guy Peellaert and my grandfather, Ed Urban. They are both huge influences on my current studio work.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Paul Middendorf. Paul is an artist and amazing curator in Houston, Texas. He's done great shows in New York, Florida, and Germany and Houston. And he's rocking it with his project, galleryHOMELAND, in Portland.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Wow, tough question. Even art that annoys me still engages me. I really don't want to see any trends die, just evolve. What's your day job?

I work full-time hours curating and creating art, but also work a full-time day job as a security supervisor at a halfway house.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it? I would start my dream business -- I'd combine my passion for art and the restaurant business. I would like to create a full-time gallery that serves food that reflects the art. I would like it to employ artists, and help foster a whole new generation of art collectors.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

More programs like the MasterMind Awards that help hard-working, struggling artists get the boost they need to keep doing what they do best.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

Damn! I work with so many artists. It is always so hard to say one is a favorite. I'm begging you, please do not make me choose.

Don't forget to use the hashtag #Artopia to tag your conversations on Twitter and Instagram. To buy tickets to Artopia, visit our Ticketfly site. Use the promo code ARTOPIA to get $5 off!

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