Meet Matthew James Collins, an Oak Park native who has lived in Italy, at a reception in his honor from 2 to 4 p.m. Matthew's exhibit titled A Dream Incarnate: Italian Landscapes and Portraits will be on display in the art gallery through July 30. The reception is free and open to the public.
Collins was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1970. Nurtured in an artistic family, his enthusiasm for art was encouraged from the earliest age. By his early teens, his study of drawing had already begun under the tutelage of his father, James Edward Collins, an award-winning architect.
Collins was accepted and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he focused on drawing, etching and sculpture. He completed a BA in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1994, he traveled to Europe to complete his artistic formation. For over 15 years, Matthew has been living in Italy, studying and researching the classical techniques of painting and sculpture.
An artist of unusually wide breadth, his oil paintings, affrescos and sculptures reveal a rigorous study of the masterworks of the past and a deep observation of nature. Not limited to a single genre, his oeuvre includes portraiture, landscape, and figurative subjects.
He exhibits internationally and his works are represented in public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain. The quality of Matthew's work has been recognized by numerous artistic associations including: Modportrait 2016(Spain), Arte Laguna Prize 2017(Venice, Italy),the Portrait Society of America, the National Sculpture Society, and the Art Renewal Center. He is also a contributing writer for the Epoch Times New York Edition. A dedicated teacher, Collins is a principal instructor at the historic atelier Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy where he personally oversees the training of future figurative painters and sculptors. Along with his wife and two young children, Matthew divides his time between Italy and Chicago.