There are so many things that come to mind when a person thinks of Memphis. It's a city known for popularizing rock and blues. It's home of some of the best barbecue in the nation. And it's plagued with some of the country’s highest levels of poverty, homelessness, and crime.
Although all of the aforementioned things are accurate about Memphis, individual perceptions of the city vary tremendously. How one person views the city may be totally different from another person's perception.
Artist Walter “Sir Walt” Andrade is providing people with a look into his personal interpretation of the city through “Mudworkz with Memphis,” his month-long art exhibit. He’s created more than 20 original, three-dimensional (3D) graphic art pieces for the exhibit.
“Everything in [the exhibit] started as an idea in my head, and instead of drawing it on a piece of paper or taking a photograph, I decided to push the envelope and do something out of the ordinary,” Andrade said.
The opening reception for the exhibit took place Monday, June 3rd at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. The exhibit will remain open until June 29th.
Andrade created all of the pieces in the exhibit from scratch using salvaged sheetrock, construction mud, wood, and paint — hence the name of his company, Mudworkz. Aside from 3D graphic art, the company specializes in interior design and construction.
“Mudworkz with Memphis” boasts 3D graphic art of people like Mayor A C Wharton, Zach Randolph, B.B. King, Knowledge Knick, as well as Andrade’s personal friends from "The Word," an event that takes place every Monday at the Rumba Room.
There’s also a “Mudworkz Memorial” section with portraits of deceased Memphians such as slain Memphis Police Officer Martoiya Lang, weatherman Mark Walden, and Isaac Hayes (this piece is designed in a style similar to the cross-shaped layout you see when the cover art from Hayes' Black Moses is unfolded). All of the memorial pieces will be donated to the families of the individual after the exhibit concludes.
“This idea for Mudworkz Memorial kind of came by accident. When I was planning this exhibit, all of the people were alive besides Isaac Hayes,” said Andrade, who’s been brainstorming the exhibit for more than a year. “I was working as these people were passing away. I was like ‘Let me do a Mudworkz for this one. Let me do a Mudworkz for that one.’ I thought about it and said, ‘Let me do a whole display of people who I was close to in some type of way, or had some connection to.’”
Anyone interested in purchasing artwork from the exhibit can place an order with Andrade, and he’ll provide a duplicate copy. The prices vary from a couple hundred to more than $1,000 depending on the size. He charges $75 per square foot. On average, pieces takes Andrade four or five days to complete.
In addition to the memorial section, there's also “Mudworkz Nature,” in which Andrade has taken decaying bark and created 3D graphic artwork in different designs from it.
Andrade said he hopes the exhibit encourages people to take a step outside of their comfort zone and do something extraordinary.
“What I want people to get out of Mudworkz is inspiration. That’s what drives me,” Andrade said. “I [want to] inspire somebody from my artwork to pursue something in their life, because all of this started from nothing. It started from a bag of sheetrock and some wood that I had in my basement, and it just arose from there.”
Check out the Mudworkz Facebook page to view more of Andrade's artwork.
Those interested in having some artwork, construction or interior design done, can contact Andrade via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (901) 570-3917