Matthew Rangel

Matthew Rangel received an MFA in printmaking from the University of Alberta and a BFA in Drawing/Painting and Printmaking from California State University Long Beach. His work has been featured in numerous shows nationally, internationally, and are included in collections such as the Stonehouse Residency for the Contemporary Arts, the White House in Washington DC, the Urban Land Institute in Washington DC, and at Mount Tai National Park in China. Among notable publications that feature his work are Journeys beyond the Neatline: Expanding the boundaries of cartography, a monograph published by University of Alberta Libraries, Elephant Magazine, Print Magazine, and in an international graphic arts anthology titled A Map of the World: According to Illustrators and Storytellers, published by Gastalten, Berlin, and editorials in Adventure Journal, GEO Magazine and Walden Magazine (Hamburg Germany). Rangel’s works are also prominently displayed in the El Capitan Hotel, The Darling Hotel and The Nomad Los Angeles.  

Matthew Rangel served his community through volunteer and leadership roles while teaching at the College of the Sequoias, in California. This included coordinating and participating in a series of community events of which he was a founding member called The Kaweah Land & Arts Festival where scholars, artists, nature enthusiasts and local non-profit groups collaborated on public events throughout the surrounding landscape. In addition, he served as a mentor for the College of the Sequoias Puente (Bridge) Project and he has served as a board member for the Sequoia Natural History Association, Arts Visalia, and as an advisor for the Sequoia Parks Foundation.

Matthew Rangel was formerly an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at the University of New Mexico (2013-2018).  He is currently a Professor of Art – Drawing/Painting and Lithography at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California

Artist Statement

My artwork aims to express layered substance about our environment and culture – not just the inherent or perceived beauty of place.

I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California surrounded by large-scale agricultural production beneath the highest reaches of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This underserved region challenged with socioeconomic, ecological and environmental concerns played a significant role toward my creative inquiry of how human constructs of land shape our experience of place.

In an effort to build meaning within my connection to land, my work embodies physical aspects of landscape through personal narrative. To do this, I begin my work with logistic and navigational research and then carryout adventurous topographic field research involving extended cross-country hiking, mountaineering, field drawing and photography. In the studio I compile this field work and often follow up with ecological inquiry, ethnographic and historic inquiry. This all builds into substance, significance, sophistication and embodied mapping, setting the stage for the formation of a graphic expression to evolve. To make things more entangled though, sometimes all this work happens out of order with months or years in between steps, or several separate field outings may take place to support a graphic idea.   

My approach toward visual expression is primarily generated through lithography and occasionally etching and screen printing. These are all graphic processes that enable me to express creative inquiry in a layered format where each layer is encoded with place-based research and meaning. Digital tools have also been integral in my work in a variety of ways. My artistic practice stems from doctrines and discourse of the Romantic landscape tradition and environmental philosophy, which undoubtedly continues to shape our perception and experience of land and place.