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Art and Community: David Matteson

David Matteson is an artist, curator, and arts advocate extraordinaire. A graduate of Rollins College, Matteson is currently Associate Curator of Education at the Orlando Museum of Art, and has been included in exhibitions at A Place Gallery, the Orlando Museum of Art, A.I.R Gallery in New York, and Art In Odd Places Orlando. 

Matteson’s artistic practice is focused on identity, taking a confessional approach to multiple mediums, including book arts, journaling, and performance. Much of his practice is driven by confessional writing, which he uses in combination with visual imagery to create intimate, vulnerable and heartfelt work.

As a curator, Matteson is dedicated to creating inclusive and engaging programming that emphasizes accessibility. The Museum currently offers many programs for community members, such as the Art With Purpose program at the Zebra Coalition. The weekly program introduces at-risk LGBTQ youth to constructive creative projects and facilitated studio activities relating to identity, such as visual journaling. The program was spearheaded by another Rollins graduate, Grace Loescher, and is currently directed by Matteson. 

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Other programs Matteson oversees include Art’s The Spark, which has a mission of increasing the museum’s accessibility to memory-impaired individuals. The program provides guided tours of the galleries for individuals and their caregivers as well as art-related discussion and private studio time, and is free of charge. Creative Connections is a similarly structured free program, offering sensory-friendly guided tours of the galleries as well as private studio sessions, catered towards adults with learning and developmental disabilities. Off the OMA campus, the Coalition for the Homeless and OMA offer a weekly Family Art Reach program at the Coalition’s facilities, with studio activities guided by an instructor, which is also free of charge.

If you are interested in hearing David Matteson speak, he will be giving a lecture on the Wyeth family of 20th Century Realist painters on March 8 at noon as a part of the Art Sandwiched In program. He also hosts first Wednesday gallery tours of the permanent collection and current exhibitions on view.

Image credit: Orlando Museum of Art

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