GUEST ARTISTS

Mark Matthews

Mark Matthews has been serious about art, music, literature and dancing all his life. As for his sculpting, Mark routinely experiments with different materials, techniques and styles - but remains uninterested in creating a specific “brand.” He seldom displays his art beyond his home gallery in Hysham, Montana, which is why Manifestations is so excited to have a chance to exhibit his work.

 

Mark was born in 1951 in Lynn, Massachusetts, and graduated from Lynn Classical High School in 1968. In his senior year the Boston newspapers designated him an all-state basketball player (second team). Upon graduation he attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he played basketball under coach K. C. Jones, a former Boston Celtic star who was Mark's boyhood idol. Mark graduated from college in 1974 with honors in English and American literature.

 

In 1981 Mark ‘’retired’’ from his position as an assistant equal opportunity specialist with the Office for Civil Rights - Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Region One (Boston) - to move into a small shack built on a dock along the shoreline of South Freeport Harbor in Maine, where he embarked on his professional sculpting career. Throughout the 1980s Mark was a featured artist at the renowned Frost Gully Gallery in Portland, Maine.

 

When he moved to Montana in 1989, Mark displayed his work in galleries in Seattle and Spokane, Washington, Las Truces, New Mexico, and Palm Desert, California. Around the same time he also began to call and teach contra dancing for the Missoula Folklore Society.

 

In 1992, while living in Missoula, Mark laid his chisels aside to pursue other interests.

 

By 1995 Mark had earned a Master degree in journalism from the University of Montana and for a number of years he worked as a freelance writer for such publications as The Washington Post, Newsweek, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Wildland Firefighter, Engineering News Record and the Great Falls Tribune. In the summers he fought wildfires with a crew based at the Ninemile Ranger District on the Lolo National Forest west of Missoula.

 

In 2005 Mark earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Montana. He went on to publish three books through the University of Oklahoma Press, including Smokejumping on the Western Fireline: Conscientious Objectors during World War II; A Great Day to Fight Fire: Mann Gulch—1949; and Droppers: Drop City--America’s First Hippie Commune. For a number of years he taught English composition and creative writing at Missoula College.

 

In 2017 Mark consummated twelve years of research on social dancing by self-publishing a four-volume set titled Swinging through American History. The individual volumes include: Square Your Sets: The Birth of American Social Dancing; Promenading toward Democracy: The Great Square Dance Revival; Cakewalking out of Slavery: A Study of Racism through Music and Dance; and Jitterbugging across the Colorline: Desegregating the Dance Floor.

 

Mark returned to sculpting in 2011. When he isn't sculpting or writing short stories he travels across Montana teaching thousands of schoolchildren how to square and contra dance, two-step, polka, waltz and jitterbug for Humanities Montana's Speakers in the Schools program. He is also on the organizing committee for the Bear Hug Mountain Music and Dance Camp held at Flathead Lake every September sponsored by the Missoula Folklore Society.

 

‘’There is no better way to bring people together than through the arts,’’ Mark says.

Starry morning at Ravensbruck

Starry morning at Ravensbruck

wood

Starry morning at Ravensbruck

Starry morning at Ravensbruck

detail

Starry morning at Ravensbruck

Starry morning at Ravensbruck

detail

Woodstock, or BUST!

Woodstock, or BUST!

Wood and a bicycle. Flowers are optional.

Woodstock, or BUST!

Woodstock, or BUST!

Wood and a bicycle. Flowers are optional.

Woodstock, or BUST!

Woodstock, or BUST!

Wood and a bicycle. Flowers are optional.

Contented Griz (wood & antler)

Contented Griz (wood & antler)

Long-necked turtle (stone)

Long-necked turtle (stone)

Off to the Beach (wood)

Off to the Beach (wood)

Anteater (antler, wire, stone base)

Anteater (antler, wire, stone base)

Ani Tsering-Buddhist nun (wood)

Ani Tsering-Buddhist nun (wood)

Bread maker (stone and copper)

Bread maker (stone and copper)

Zebra in body suit (wood, reeds)

Zebra in body suit (wood, reeds)

Giraffe in knickers (wood, reeds)

Giraffe in knickers (wood, reeds)

Prairie wheels (metal, wood)

Prairie wheels (metal, wood)

Fish (wood, copper)

Fish (wood, copper)

Garden Giraffe (wood, reeds)

Garden Giraffe (wood, reeds)

Garden Giraffe ..

Garden Giraffe ..

Pope's team jacket (wood, reeds)

Pope's team jacket (wood, reeds)

Happy Bird (wood, antler)

Happy Bird (wood, antler)

Sixties girl group (wood, Bondo)

Sixties girl group (wood, Bondo)

Kiss (wood, copper)

Kiss (wood, copper)

Family (wood)

Family (wood)

Podiatrist (wood, copper)

Podiatrist (wood, copper)

Pod man (wood)

Pod man (wood)

Same old, same old (wood, metal)

Same old, same old (wood, metal)

Moon beam (wood)

Moon beam (wood)

Night and Day ... night side (wood)

Night and Day ... night side (wood)

Habanera (wood, copper, shell)

Habanera (wood, copper, shell)

Night and Day ... side view (wood)

Night and Day ... side view (wood)

Night and Day ... day side (wood)

Night and Day ... day side (wood)

Tea Dress (wood)

Tea Dress (wood)

Welcome (stone, copper)

Welcome (stone, copper)

Spirit of the Rockies - West aspect (

Spirit of the Rockies - West aspect (

Spirit of the Rockies - East Front (w

Spirit of the Rockies - East Front (w

Ring Shout (wood)

Ring Shout (wood)

Willow's Stretch (wood)

Willow's Stretch (wood)

Grizzly bear (stone)

Grizzly bear (stone)

Peacock (wood, dried weeds)

Peacock (wood, dried weeds)

Newspaper man (wood)

Newspaper man (wood)

Teach your children how to dance (ant

Teach your children how to dance (ant

High kick (antler, stone base)

High kick (antler, stone base)

Puff the Dragon (antler, stone base).

Puff the Dragon (antler, stone base).

Poodle (antler, stone base)

Poodle (antler, stone base)

Slow dancing

Slow dancing

Moving out (antler, stone base)

Moving out (antler, stone base)

DNA strand (wood, metal spindle)

DNA strand (wood, metal spindle)

Slow dancing ... head shot (wood)

Slow dancing ... head shot (wood)

Standing Buddha (wood)

Standing Buddha (wood)

Heron (wood, antlwer, copper)

Heron (wood, antlwer, copper)

Hoarse Sinatra (wood, reeds, bowtie).

Hoarse Sinatra (wood, reeds, bowtie).

Headstand (wood)

Headstand (wood)

Ibis (wood)

Ibis (wood)

Elephant (antler, stone base)

Elephant (antler, stone base)

Flamingo in high heels and fishnet st

Flamingo in high heels and fishnet st

Elegance (wood)

Elegance (wood)

Carp (sandstone, stone base)

Carp (sandstone, stone base)

Dandelion (wood, metal spindle)

Dandelion (wood, metal spindle)

Buzzard (wood, antler, metal)

Buzzard (wood, antler, metal)

Calypso (wood)

Calypso (wood)

Buck Dancer (antler, stone base)

Buck Dancer (antler, stone base)

Broken tooth (metal, wood)

Broken tooth (metal, wood)