Artist Story: Matt Clark

Transformative Cowboy Sculptor

I will always have a deep emotional connection to Art Around the Corner because this program introduced me to Matt Clark.  In the 12 years since, my life has been immeasurably enriched by the friendship we have forged. Matt is a master artist, enlightened philosopher, wise councilor, and one of my most treasured friends.

He is also the most genuine person I know, without a smidge of pretension. Matt certainly is not concerned with what others think of him, and sometimes can be brutally honest.  But even in those moments there is a natural compassion that flows freely from him. I have learned more spiritual truths in Matt’s presence then I have anywhere else.

People say suffering is the gateway to enlightenment.  Perhaps this is why Matt is such a sage. He knows heartache.  As a young man, he was paralyzed when a vehicle he was working under fell on him.  He has been in a wheelchair ever since. But this is not the story I want to tell about Matt.  It is only the backdrop for an incredible life, still unfolding.

Matt once explained the personal importance of his work.  He related how, when his injury first occurred, the medical professionals saw him as broken.  They advised his parents to put him in an institution since the burden of caring for him would be too great.  Basically, they were ready to throw him away. Fortunately for all of us, Matt’s parents didn’t listen and later he decided to become a sculptor, creating art for his own spiritual healing and for uplifting others.  

Today, Matt uses recycled items to create his art.  He finds scraps discarded as no longer useful—rusted, broken, and tossed aside.  Matt asks himself, “What is the best purpose for this object.” He searches for each piece’s innate power and gives it a new reason to be.  For him, the transformation is symbolic of his own journey.

As a teenager he dreamed of becoming a world champion cowboy.  Now he expresses that dream by creating majestic horses. Although minimal in execution, they convey power and personality.  Standing next to one the other day I thought, “If only I could win your trust, I bet you could take me to magical places full of wonder and awe.”       

If you visit Matt’s work shop, you’ll see on the wall this saying from the book, As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, “Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage, these are the makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven.  The world is beautiful because they have lived. Dream lofty dreams and as you dream so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.  Your ideal is the prophesy of what you shall at last unveil”. We anxiously await the unveiling of your next dream, Matt.

Art Around the Corner is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts and enriching our community.  AAC’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit features sculptures by nationally renowned artists on public display in the downtown area of St. George, Utah. If you’re interested in sponsoring or purchasing a piece or want to be involved, please contact Cindy Trueblood.

Cindy Trueblood
Art Around the Corner
Director of Sales & Community Relations
www.artaroundthecorner.org

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