Matt Werner

Biography

A native of the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, my first introduction to fine art was the Philadelphia Art Museum; my first experience with carving wood was in Boy Scouts. I was born interested in everything. As a teenager in Philadelphia I would frequently go down town to visit the Art Museum (where Rocky practiced his victory dance), or the Franklin Institute (technology), or the Museum of Natural History. On one visit, I found Rodin’s Burghers of Calais installed on the Parkway adjacent to the Art Museum. I had never seen anything so powerful. After that experience, I had a wholly different perspective on what art could be.

For my sophomore year, I was an art major, but I switched to the academic major the following year because I still had a strong interest in science. After earning degrees from Franklin & Marshall College (BA, Geology) and Pennsylvania State University (PhD, Geology), I pursued career work in geology consulting. Various career changes took me to California, Hawaii, back to California, and, now, to Arizona. Wherever I went, wherever I lived, working and sculpting in wood was an integral part of my life.

In 2004, I started a gradual transition to a second career as a sculptor. In June of 2011, I finally was able to step out of my previous career in science and become a full-time sculptor. I have been trained in sculpture by Ben Hammond, Hal Stewart, Lincoln Fox and Vala Ola. Since 2005, my work has been displayed in 23 juried exhibitions in three states. I am a past-President of the Arizona Artists Guild (AAG) and past-Chairperson of the AAG Sculptor’s Group.