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 Matt  Spahr
Matt Spahr
Part-Time Instructor, Art

Area of expertise:

Sculpture, installation, spatial dynamics, contemporary art theory and practice.

Additional interests include:
Social practice, performance, human/botanical dynamics, light dynamics, mid-century modern furniture design, sensory deprivation, speleology, and collaborative practice.

Matt Spahr is a sculptor and educator living and working in Richmond, Virginia. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees for 1708 Gallery since 2013. Matt has had a primary practice in collaboration with Valerie Molnar since 2012. Their practice is an ongoing investigation into the transfer of energy and the dynamic exchange between humans and plants, color, form, and fabricated environments. Through plants, light, sculpture, and painting they experiment and debate on both real and romantic ideas of the inherent and potentially inherent attributes of naturally occurring phenomenon in our universe. They work together to think about and create environments for the "happiness" of plants and people, while researching botanical care and theory. Exploring the idea of home and space for these "houseplants" they question their domesticated friends about what they might be missing from their native homes, being with more mature partners, sunsets, fresh air, bugs, rain showers, and more metaphysical ideas like healing springs water, non-­percussive music and purple tesla plates. In addition, they assist plants’ human counterparts in being better partners, in order to reach greater symbiotic balance. Some of their social outreach projects have included learning to meditate with your plant, dancing with your plant, and exercising with your plant which raise happiness levels in humans creating positive environments for thriving while also producing essential CO2 and humidity through breathing and moving. Or, plants and their people can enjoy a sunset together indoors.

Matt Spahr and Valerie Molnar’s collaborative work has been exhibited at 1708 Gallery Richmond VA, Nobile and Amundson Gallery, Norfolk VA, The University of Virginia’s Ruffin Gallery, Charlottesville VA, WavePool Gallery, Cincinnati OH, Bronx Art Space, Bronx NY and ADA Gallery, Richmond va. The duo received a VMFA Professional fellowship in 2016. They have attended the Studios at Mass MoCA, Mountain Lake's Art Lab and Wave Pool Gallery residencies. In addition, Matt has had solo exhibitions at Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC, ADA Gallery, Richmond, Virginia, Accident Gallery, Eureka California; his work has been included in exhibitions at Claremont University, Claremont, California, Scope, Miami, Florida, Scope, London, England, Kim Foster Gallery NY, NY, Playspace Gallery, San Francisco, California and Sculpture Key West, Key West, Florida. He has co-developed and lead workshops on culinary art experimentation in Vinalhaven, Maine and Doha, Qatar with designer Brooke Chornyak.

M.F.A., Virginia Commonwealth University 2007
B.F.A., California State University of Long Beach 2003
Contact Information
V215 Visual Arts Building
(804) 289-8272