Walter T. Matia

Born in 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio, Walter T. Matia was educated at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he earned degrees in biology and art design. He attained much of his training during a long apprenticeship in the exhibits department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. After leaving the Cleveland Museum, he worked for 11 years with the Nature Conservancy, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and unique habitats, where he served as the organization’s vice president in charge of land management.

Matia began casting bronze sculptures in 1980. Initially concentrating on bird life, over the years he has also worked on sporting dogs and other mammals. In 1987 he began a series of large fountain and garden pieces. In 1989 the Blair House Restoration Committee placed one of his fountains in the formal garden of the United States President’s Guest House. To complement the fountain, Matia produced a bronze wall frieze for the Blair House in 1992.

His works have been exhibited in one-man shows at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Gilcrease Museum, the National Sporting Library and Museum, and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. He is a regular participant in the annual exhibitions of the Society of Animal Artists and the National Sculpture Society, and at Birds in Art, the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, Masters of the American West; the Prix de West Invitational, and Western Visions. At Masters, Matia received the Kenneth T. and Eileen Norris Foundation Award for Sculpture for Fall Flight in 2022 and for Winter World in 2023. He is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, a Master Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, and a Master Wildlife Artist at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

His sculptures have toured with various shows to dozens of museums both in the United States and abroad. Major commissions include the AKC Museum of the Dog, American University, Benson Park Sculpture Gardens, the Bird Dog Hall of Fame, Botanica Wichita, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Deerwood Office Park, Fried Farm, Gonzaga College High School, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Merrill Lynch Corporate Regional Offices, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and NFL Houston Texans NRG (formerly Reliant) Stadium.

Walter T. Matia is represented by Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Paderewski Fine Art, Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Nashville, Tennessee; and Simpson Gallagher Gallery, Cody, Wyoming.

View the Autry’s interview with Walter T. Matia here. Recorded live January/2023. 


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