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The Gallery of Contemporary Art, UCCS presents New Faculty: Matt Barton and Corey Drieth opening June 20. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs hired two new studio art faculty members in 2007: Matt Barton (3D) and Corey Drieth (2D). The Gallery of Contemporary Art will introduce you to the work of these engaging new figures on the Pikes Peak art scene.
Matt Barton graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art and Bachelors in Art Education from Montana State University and his Masters of Fine Art from Carnegie Mellon University. While growing up southern Indiana, he worked as a performer at Chuck E. Cheese, dancing in a rat suit while a mechanical animal band performed hit songs, such as, “Walkin’ on Sunshine.” True to his roots at Chuck E. Cheese, Matt’s puckish artwork often utilizes motorized, convulsing and gyrating plush and stuffed animals. Video collages are projected on the walls, providing a room-size environment for the activities of the mechanically enhanced woodland creatures.
Barton says, “I want to instill a bit of wonder and questioning in the lightest possible sense. I want to tickle a remote nerve ending in the imagination, stimulate atrophied curiosity, and evoke a small remnant of a childlike spark that recognizes the magic that can exist when we view the world through playful eyes.”
In the work of Corey Drieth, paint washes gently over the subtle wood grain of the surface of his panels. Resembling curtains or flowing water, his paintings act as meditative facades. Drieth cites Georgia O’Keefe, Arthur Dove and the minimalist Agnes Martin as influences upon his work suggesting his love of simple, small-scale abstraction. Drieth says of his work, “Inspired by the natural world, art history and religious traditions such as Zen Buddhism and Quaker Christianity, my paintings and drawings explore contemplative spiritual experience. Because [my paintings] require quietude during a time of de-humanizing speed, clutter and noise, they serve as both a foil to the frenetic activity of contemporary life and as a method of sustenance within it.”
Drieth was born and raised in Northern Colorado. He attended Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins and received undergraduate degrees in Philosophy/Comparative Religious Studies and Studio Art. He later attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his MFA in drawing and painting. Before arriving at UCCS, Drieth taught studio art classes at CSU, the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia.