Artists and Friends Bid Farewell to Matt Callahan

The Tampa Bay art scene lost a shining talent last week. Artist Matt Callahan, who worked under the name Man Made Murals, died at age 40 of a head injury at Tampa General Hospital on Friday, April 13.  Stories about Callahan and reports on the incident have been reported by the Tampa Bay Times, St. Pete Catalyst and Creative LoafingRay Roa of CL provided a rundown of Callahan’s works, which have taken him across the country, from Alabama to Anaheim.

Locally, his work can be seen at Tampa’s Fusion Bowl and Hablo Taco, at Green Bench Brewing, Seminole Heights’ Red Star Rock Bar and Coppertail Brewing where he painted this Evan Harris design on the Ybor City brewery’s south wall. A collaboration with Angela Delaplane on the attention-grabbing mural at Classical Architectural earned inclusion in St. Pete’s 2016 SHINE mural festival. He traveled to other cities too, such as Lake City bakeries and breweries (Born & Bread BakehouseHalpatter Brewing Company),  Lake Buena Vista (Disney Springs,  Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen) and Coral Springs High School.

Tampa’s Art After Dark posted the following: “It has been very heartbreaking to lose a fellow artist and friend Matt Callahan. He has been a part of the Art After Dark live painting events for many years and we will host a gathering to bring people together to share his memories. Local artists and friends will gather and paint together at noon this Sunday (April 22) at The Dubliner Irish Pub (in Hyde Park, Tampa), where we shared many positive memories. We welcome all friends, family, and fans who have been inspired by his love for art and his contributions to the community. Feel free to share pictures and stories on our page that celebrate his memory in a positive way.”

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Matt Callahan will be accepted by LeMoyne Arts to fund scholarships for “The High School Show” that is held annually in March. Callahan won a scholarship at age 18 from the LeMoyne Art Gallery as “artist of the year. The Matt Callahan High School Art Show Scholarship will be awarded to five high school students with scholarships towards art school in 2019. There will be a dedication for Matt during the award presentation. Callahan’s loved ones ask you to perpetuate his name by donating to this scholarship fund. All donations can be sent to:

LeMoyne Art Gallery
125 N. Gadsden st.
Tallahassee FL. 32301

Or call 850-222-8800 to leave a credit card donation with either Alexandra or Anne, make sure to mention Matt & The Scholarship fund directly.

Local artists offered their condolences via social media:

“Peace to my friend Matt Callahan (@manmademurals), one of the most skilled painters I have ever known,”Leon Bedore, aka Tes One, wrote on his timeline.

So shattered. … Matt was an incredible artist, friend, father and leader in the local arts community. He gave me a shot when no one else would, helping me become a working muralist. His larger than life personality and immaculate skill made him one of the most talented and loving artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. His infectious optimism and love for his fellow creatives will be felt in the area for years to come. Thank you for everything over the years dude. Rest easy and I will see you at the crossroads brother. –Derek Donnelly

Deepest Prayers and condolences to the family of Matt Callahan. I am proud to know him and have shared trials and tribulations of the mural business. Often passing jobs to each other or losing jobs to each other…Paul and I are always in awe and instantly recognize Matt’s impeccable attention to realism and detail. He is simply the best commercial artist we’ve ever met. Peace my brother.–Johnny Vitale

 Let’s comfort each other in this time of loss. Much love to Matt Callahan’s family and friends. Thank you, Matt, for your kindness—a kind word goes a long way in my book. You were a shining example of friendship and magnificent art. You will be greatly missed.–Jennifer Kosharek

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