Elk Grove Artist's Original Work at New Winery is Mash-up of Life Experience, Recent Marriage

Matt Trammel Tahnee Smith

March 5, 2017 |   

For Matt Trammel, if anyone had a mash-up of life experiences that drew the noted Elk Grove artist and muralist to his latest commission, he would be hard pressed to find them.

Trammel, a 2000 graduate of Elk Grove's Laguna Greek High School, the road to the commission of murals at the soon to open Rouge Winery on Hood Franklin Road has been nothing if not exciting.

After having a keen interest in painting through high school, Trammel did not start his art career in earnest until 2012. It was a vehicle accident that he described as horrific that drew him back to his first passion.

While recovering from injuries, Trammel was hired to paint murals at Elk Grove's Bull Wings Sports Bar. That first commission had challenges for his fledgling career change.

"I was painting the murals while in a full body cast" he noted.

From there, things progressed quickly for Trammel. Since then he has painted a variety of murals at several businesses and private residences throughout the Sacramento region. 

"I've done work all over Sacramento," Trammell said. 

His work at Rouge Winery, which started in December and will consist of five indoor and five outdoor murals will take one about one year to complete. Currently, work has been completed indoors, and outdoor painting will resume weather permitting. 
One of 10 murals, this one outdoors, being painted by 
Elk Grove-based artist Matt Trammel at the soon to open
Rouge Winery on Hood Franklin Road.  

Rouge Winery, which is affiliated with Watts Winery in Lodi and is tentatively scheduled for an April 15 reopening, is owned by James Aziz. Visitors will be able to enjoy a wine tasting bar, a steak-themed restaurant, a separate banquet facility and is located on their five-acre Hood Franklin Road site.  

"Working with Matt has been very good," Aziz said. "He has been really flexible and has produced nice murals." 

Interestingly, the site of the Rogue Winery played a crucial role in Trammell's recent marriage to another Laguna Creek High School alum, Tahnee Smith. Although both have lived in Elk Grove for several years and graduated from the same school four years apart, it was not until last year that they met.

Unlike other couples who met through school, work, friends, or dating sites, the couple met through the TLC reality show Married by Mom and Dad. In a nod age-old traditions, parents act as matchmakers for their adult children in the hopes of finding a spouse. 

As part of the process, potential matches are vetted by parents for their children, and like a traditional courtship, the potential suitors date their potential in-laws to learn about compatability. For Trammel, one of those dates with his future in-laws was a visit to Rouge Winery before its current remodeling project.

Of the six completed murals, given the winery's role in his marriage, one of the interior pieces is perhaps the most fitting for Matt and Tahnee. In that mural, a couple is exchanging their wedding vows.

"It was kind of like an arranged marriage," Trammel quipped.

Rouge Winery is located at 3206 Hood Franklin Road just east of Interstate 5 and is scheduled to open on April 15. More of Trammel's murals and other painting can be viewed on his website or Facebook page.    

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