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The Scene: Matthew Holdren

The Scene: Matthew Holdren

Designer, builder of furniture and interiors

The Scene: Matthew Holdren

Designer, builder of furniture and interiors
Winter 2024 issue of American Craft magazine
Matthew Holdren works on a plan while flanked by two handmade chairs. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

Matthew Holdren works on a plan while flanked by two handmade chairs. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

Holdren builds furniture and interiors from Louisiana sinker cypress, which has been reclaimed from bayous, and from material he salvages from New Orleans homes. Photo by Cedric Angeles.
Holdren builds furniture and interiors from Louisiana sinker cypress, which has been reclaimed from bayous, and from material he salvages from New Orleans homes. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

 

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Holdren grew up in Vermont, where his dad built the family home and his mom owned an antique store. He’s lived in New Orleans for 16 years. Asked what he finds most inspiring about the city as a craft community, Holdren says, “It’s a very creative and culture-rich place. Obviously, there is a lot of history and there are deep traditions, from Mardi Gras Indians to the food to architecture and the Cajun culture outside the city. The St. Claude art galleries, like Good Children and The Front, are where I met a lot of the people who would become my friends. Going out to live shows, performances, and all of our parties and festivals around Mardi Gras is another great way to experience the craft and art scene. Everyone literally crafts one-of-a-kind costumes for multiple parties and parades—there is nothing else like it. New Orleans has some of the most loving and friendly people, but there is a lot of crime and a lack of support and proper care given to the people who make it what it is.”

ARTISTS HOLDREN ADMIRES: Glassblower Ben Dombey, sculptor David Borgerding, mixed-media artist and cofounder of Good Children Gallery Stephen Collier, sculptor and furniture maker Abe Geasland, and printmaker and installation artist Pippin Frisbie-Calder.

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This article was made possible with support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

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