Photograph by: Ryan S. Brandenberg
ABOUT MAT TOMEZSKO
Mat Tomezsko is an artist from Philadelphia creating paintings, murals, and community art projects based around collaboration, participation, and communal visual language. His approach to composition is informed by mid-century formalism and conceptualism. His work was recognized by the 2017 Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review for outstanding public art. Tomezsko’s artwork has been exhibited at numerous art spaces regionally and nationally, including the Crane Arts, Woodmere Art Museum, the Center For Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), and Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia; Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL; the Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington, DE; and Thomas Hunter Projects in New York, NY. He has created several notable public art projects including 14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words, a mile-long temporary mural installed in downtown Philadelphia during the 2016 Democratic National Convention; Flowering Axes, a mural in the 5th Street Vehicular Tunnel underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge; Free Paint, a series of free participatory public art events that result in compositions and murals; and Revolutionary Philadelphia, a series of collaborative murals made through a process of research and discussion with local students installed on Temple University’s Main Campus. He is the recent recipient of several grants including the Velocity Fund Award, Art Is Essential, and Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation Teaching Artist Grant. He is a Tyler School of Art alum.
He is currently the lead artist and studio manager for the Kensington branch of Mural Arts’ Color Me Back: Same Day Work and Pay Program, an innovative program that combines participatory art-making and access to social services in a unique model offering individuals experiencing economic insecurity an opportunity to earn wages.
His works are included in several public collections including The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, Fox School of Business at Temple University, and Purdue University as well as numerous private and corporate collections such as Capital One in Wilmington, DE; and Deloitte in Philadelphia, PA.
I create paintings, public art installations, and community art projects based around participation, collaboration, and processing the experiences and realities that make up our lives. I use materials and visual language from observed social and environmental surroundings to create meaning. I find that meaning through research, discussion, and direct community engagement. In my practice in general, I do not center myself. I invite others to participate in the creative process in order to make a platform for expression that genuinely represents multiple points of view. I see art as a way to engage with the world, learn from one another, and create something that embodies that process. I aim to align the method in which something is made, and what the materials represent, with the concept of the artwork.
While my practice is rooted in collaboration, learning, and dialogue, when it comes to composition, I abide by a framework informed by the painting traditions of abstraction, formalism, and conceptualism. I have extensive professional experience working at art galleries, institutions, non-profits, and publications, and my ultimate goal is to use this knowledge to make contemporary art accessible and inclusive.
Symbols and Sources:
The City Real & Imagined:
Juvenile In Justice:
Happier and Happier:
Look Long and Look Good:
Paintings available for sale or commission
View more work on my blog: