Matt Atkinson


Matt Atkinson is a Colorado-based painter whose work is found in collections throughout North America and Europe. He has a degree in Studio Art from the University of Tennessee, and has exhibited in numerous juried shows, where he has earned honors which include purchase and gold medal awards.

His traditional realist paintings portray the American west from days gone by to present, and in particular the stories of men and women who preserve its heritage. From old-timer saddle makers to master violin carvers to Indian elders and warriors (both living and historical), his work honors the preservation of culture, and the men and women who steadfastly carry on those traditions.

In every painting, Matt use brushes and paints that he inherited from his grandmother, a wise and compassionate elder. The brushes in the vase beside her easel still had paint on them, waiting for her to return to them, when she passed. Using them on every canvas connects his art with that heritage. He has also achieved acclaim in the behavioral sciences, writing award-winning books about the effects and treatments of trauma. He earned a second Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s, and has worked as a volunteer chaplain for Native American prison inmates, community health program director, and counselor before resuming art as his full-time vocation.

Matt has worked closely with many Indian tribes as a program director and consultant. For years, he directed the Cultural Recovery/Youth program for a Native American community, forming relationships with traditional leaders and elders. Tribes across the United States have hosted Atkinson as trainer for cultural and anti-violence programs. He has also taught college courses for several years, and is regularly requested as a guest lecturer and conference presenter. His art has found its way into private and corporate collections and galleries across the United States, England, Finland, and Canada.

Gallery Representation:
Gallery 113, Downtown Colorado Springs
Sunti World, Whitefish, Montana
Prairie Edge Gallery, Rapid City, South Dakota

Art Education:
2012 Workshop with Martin Grelle (CA) and Bruce Greene (CA)
2012 Workshop with Jim Norton (CA)
1994 B.A. Studio Art, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, scholarship

Experience and Events:
2022 Western Spirit Juried Art Show, WINNER, People’s Choice Award
2021 Bosque Art Classic, WINNER, Gold medal in drawing
2021 Western Spirit Art Show, WINNER, Best In Show
WINNER, Gold Medal in Drawing
2020 Bosque Art Classic, juried by Bruce Greene;
WINNER, Patrons Purchase Award;
WINNER, Gold Medal in Water Media for “Give No Ground”
2020 Western Spirit Juried Art Show – WINNER, Best In Show
2019 Mountain Oyster Club invitational show
2019 Parker Artist Guild juried show – WINNER, honors for drawing
2019 Bosque Arts Classic juried show – WINNER, Silver Medal for drawing
2019 Mueller State Park invitational show, Colorado
2019 Once Upon a Time in the West invitational show, Cripple Creek, CO
2019 Western Spirit Art Show, Cheyenne, WY
2018 Florissant Fossil Beds annual juried show
2018 Bosque Arts Classic annual juried show (Jason Rich CA, Judge)
2018 Mueller Park Juried Art Show, Colorado
2018 Once Upon A Time in the West invitational show, Cripple Creek, CO
2017 Mountain Oyster Club annual juried show
2017 Gallery 113 in Colorado Springs; featured guest artist
2017 Luxe Magazine promotional feature on Colorado Artists
2017 Florissant Park Invitational Show, Colorado
2017 Mueller Park Invitational Show, Colorado
2017 Once Upon a Time in the West invitational show, Cripple Creek, CO
2017 American Plains Artists annual invitational show (Alfredo Rodriguez, judge)
WINNER of Award for Excellence

Artwork to be Showcased