BFA (Photography), 2009, Columbia College Chicago. Exhibitions: MCA Chicago, Catherine Edelman Gallery, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Johalla Projects, University of Notre Dame. Publications: "The Shape of Spilled Milk," The Chicago Perch, 2014; "WAKE," self-published 2012; "Talking with Fear about Dying Tomorrow," Silver Galleon Press, 2010; Aperture Magazine, "Studio Visit: Barbara Kasten' from Documentary, Expanded: Spring 2014; "Ray Yoshida," published by SAIC, 2011. Awards: DCASE Individual Artist Grant 2013–2015, Smart Museum "Interpreter in Residence" 20132014, MCA Curriculum Slam, ACRE Residency 2010, Magenta Foundation Emerging Artist Award 2011. Collections: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Hornswaggler Arts, Estate of Ray Yoshida, Indie Photobook Library.

Experience at SAIC

I truly enjoy teaching in an environment where the facilities and administrative support meet the rigor of the classes and the enthusiasm of the students. It is a place that fosters a great amount of creative progress through experimentation.

Personal Statement

Matt tends to apply his approaches to art making in all facets of his life: working, teaching, getting older, having dinner, etc. Though his practices vary widely—from making photographs to publishing books, hosting dinners to building benches—his work remains focused on the importance of honesty and learning from others. Many of his creative projects are motivated by tragic experience and frequently engage the idea of learning to appreciate through embracing difficulty. Inspired by failure and often motivated by fear, he mostly demonstrates his enthusiasm for living by trying things out.

Austin is the founding director of The Chicago Perch, a creative platform for social exchange through cost-free learning opportunities. He recently co-founded Candor Arts, a design company dedicated to the creation of objects, environments, and opportunities that invite open communication. He is currently working on several publications including a book of his own photographs, writing, and conducted interviews called For the Birds Trapped in Airports, which will be featured in a solo exhibition at Trinity Christian College in August 2016.

Current Interests

Strangers. Studs Terkel & Sydney Lewis. My peers. Bernie Sanders. Miles Davis—Kind of Blue.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.