Our New Best Friend: Matt Alvis
There aren’t enough places for Charlotte artists to sell their work.
If you disagree with that statement, our new best friend Matt Alvis (known on Instagram at @StencilSpray) will fight you. Okay, that’s hyperbole. He won’t fight you, but he will disagree with you and then, he’ll gather his fellow artists to open a groovy new shop in NoDa called the TAC Gallery in the former Sunshine Daydreams space next to The Evening Muse.
Oh wait, he already did that last September.
The TAC gallery was the formation of the TAC (“Tough Ass Crew“) Instagram group last year assembled by Charlotte street artists, including Alvis, @paper.paste, @jbird.the.vandal and @happy_mutants. The group has grown to 75 unique members since.
Alvis works in digital art, acrylic paint, stickers, cardboard and stencils. He and his fellow artists found it especially difficult to make a living during the pandemic. They needed a place to show (and sell) their work.
They conceived of a pop-up shop that would be open in time for the holidays. The Evening Muse provided the space, and Alvis invited TAC artists to submit their work in the gallery AND help decorate its walls. It all happened in 12 days. Since then, more than 125 artists have sold work at the TAC Gallery and what once was considered a temporary project looks to Alvis like it’s here to stay.
But, Alvis warns the public has an important role to play in keeping the TAC Gallery open. “You can make a huge difference in the life of an artist just by buying one piece from one artist you like this year,” he said. “Our landlords are still not accepting likes and shares [as payment].”
Creating an engaging, surprising and (more importantly) sustainable place for artists to sell their work is just one reason why Matt Alvis is our new best friend. And, it’s why his work was recognized with a moss art Bolt of Inspiration (pictured above) made by The Savage Way and sponsored by OrthoCarolina at the CreativeMornings/Charlotte Zoom gathering on Jan. 8.
Heading into 2021, Alvis has a word of advice for his fellow artists: “Restructure your entire life to support your art. If your lifestyle supports your art, your art will support your lifestyle.”
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