Silver State 98 began with the dream of an epic party. Three friends from the Reno High School Class of 1998, Matthew Lew, Jamie Gonzales, and Julie Begbie, were trying to figure out how to fund their 20th high school reunion. What better way than to tap into acclaimed artist and Reno-native Matthew Lew’s talent?
“We were in a brainstorm meeting and I thought creating some Nevada-themed artwork to sell could help with some of the upfront costs of planning the reunion. Silver State 98 was born right then and there,” said Matthew Lew. “Once we launched our web store and realized how much amazing local support we were receiving, we decided a percentage of proceeds would go back to Reno High School.”
The company is now looking for more ways to give back, not only locally, but to the state as a whole. In addition to the art prints, Silver State 98 plans to expand into apparel and more sticker art as well.
“The growth of the company is very exciting. Right now, we have almost 100 limited edition Nevada-themed art prints. I would love for Silver State 98 to continue to be a fun, vibrant, and eclectic company in Nevada,” said Lew. “Our motto is ‘Home Means Nevada, so…. BRING NEVADA INTO YOUR HOME!’
Artist Matthew Lew finds inspiration in the natural beauty along with the cultural quirks of Nevada to create these pieces. Lew’s crafted prints and stickers include themes that relate uniquely back to the state — things such as Burning Man, Lake Tahoe, and the Battle Born slogan.
“My work is inspired by the conceptual roots of Nevada and also its physical connection to nature, pop-culture, history, and beauty. There really is endless inspiration in Nevada,” said Lew.
Silver State 98 continues to expand its print themes beyond just Reno to encompass the state as a whole. Lew has created prints inspired by Red Rock Canyon, University of Nevada, Mount Charleston, and the nightlife of the Las Vegas Strip. The goal is to share love and pride for Nevada through art.
“I would love for the public to know that our passion to create and connect with the spirit of Nevada runs deep in our veins,” said Lew.