Hailing from La Crosse, Wisconsin, Matt is a painter and musician. His paintings use storytelling methods to explore traditional lifestyles and music subcultures throughout the Midwest and around the world. In his career, he has captured Scandinavian cultural legacies in rural Wisconsin and spent a number of years examining the interplay of heritage and hardship in Chicago’s unique Irish music scene. Recently, he spent time traveling to remote tribal villages and disaster-stricken communities in the Philippines to understand issues of displacement and identity. His work has been exhibited in galleries and published in leading national magazines in the United States and internationally. He has been passionate about developing arts communities, including fostering arts education, in places where he has lived, worked and visited.

Why art?

Art is the language that took hold for me. From an early age, art was how I analyzed, understood and reacted to the world around me. It remains the most natural medium for me to interpret my life experiences.

Could art save a life?

I believe art can define a life and open up meaning in life, and in this way, it can give our experiences meaning and purpose.

Cake or pie?

More often pie, but more favorably cake.