Featured Artist - Matthew W. Strawn
Matt has been seriously creating art for more than 30 years. He gets his talent honestly. Both grandparents on his father’s side painted. His grandfather was an engineer and designed a lot of the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of his older sisters is a very talented musician. Every member of his family is blessed with some talent. His father was a well known historian.
He graduated from Ringling School of Art in 1981, attending at a time when many changes were being made to the curriculum. These changes afforded him the opportunity to explore the printmaking mediums and receive an exceptionally good background in Art History.
In the summer of 1991, he was approached by several artists with the idea of forming a cooperative gallery. With the help of the late Gail Moore and Beth Jones, the Foothills Visual Artists Guild, originally located int eh Lenoir Mall opened in the fall of the same year. This location was their home for 20 years with an average of 12 artists showing their work. The Guild is still active and showing work in five venues throughout Lenoir, NC.
Matt works primarily as a printmaker, specializing in etching, using a wide variety of techniques including multi-color prints. He generally works on several plates at a time. Drawing, etching and printing a plate, is done in several stages so its more efficient to work that way. Matt enjoys the challenge of working on several plates in various stages, keeping track of exactly where in the process each one is.
As far as subject matter, Matt loves older buildings and homes, they have such wonderful character or built with precision and to be visually appealing. He feels the need to record these historic places before they are lost to us. It seems that in many ways, we turn our backs on our past, abandoning these things that were built with such care and true craftsmanship. Matt always works from life. This seems to give his work a three dimensional quality and gives the viewer a closer connection with the subject matter. He looks to Rembrandt and Whistler as his influences in his work. Rembrandt for his dramatic light and Whistler for his subject matter.
Matt's work will be featured in our brick gallery November 1st through December 1st.