Assistant Professor of Art, Design, and Social Justice
L - 2 West 13th Street
Matthew Villarreal is a Desert dweller, artist, writer, and educator living and working in El Paso, TX. His work uses tactile materials associated with both the body and the earth as a way to explore the various liminal points in language, politics, and the psychology of voicelessness. Much of his work utilizes desert motifs as a proxy to challenge conceptions of otherness. Materials like clay, cotton, or wax function as stand-ins for the body; representations of the desert (a landscape often viewed as barren, hostile, or undesirable) is used as a signifier for the silenced. Matthew holds a BFA in painting, drawing, and creative writing, an MA in English literature, and two MFA degrees. He has over 12 years of teaching experience, working with students ranging from early childhood to higher education. In 2014, he spearheaded an arts collaborative which provided small group art classes, pop-up shops, and critique space. Highlights from his personal art career include work in New American Talent 21 Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, TX), the distinction of "Best in Show" at the Urban Transformations, 2016 exhibition (Texas Trost Society), and works in the private collections of key regional figures.