Matt Aaron Templeton
Matt Templeton is an artist, designer and educator. His work has been exhibited internationally, received critical acclaim and is in various collections and publications. He has worked as a designer with businesses of all shapes and sizes. He is currently working as an Innovation Catalyst at Fidelity Labs. He has also professed his faith in art and design at many different schools including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and RISD. The thread through all of Matt’s work is human-centered design; creative confidence; and helping people work with more skillfulness, effectiveness and delight. In his free time Matt enjoys surfing the cold waters off of New England and making music with his daughter. He plays well with others and always cleans up after himself.
Kate Templeton is a PhD Candidate in English literature at Northeastern University. Her dissertation examines the intersection of documentary photographic practices with modern American literature amid the Depression-era culture of the 1930’s. She is currently a Scholar at the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Northeastern University’s center for Digital Humanities and Computational Social Science. Kate’s research interests include Marxist aesthetic theory, network analysis, and visual culture. She is the English expert in residence at Salted Caramel books (https://www.facebook.com/saltedcaramelbooks). When not elbow deep in archives, she can be found building sandcastles with her daughter. She has a secret wish to spend her days taste-testing ice cream.
Wait for it.
M.F.A. The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, 2003
B.F.A. The Art Institute of Boston, 2000
Daytona State, Liberal & Fine Arts
Cambridge University English Literature
>> Selected One Man Exhibitions
The Dictionary Project, The Project Space, N.E.S.A.D., Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2012
The only rule is work, The East Wing Gallery, Gardner, MA, U.S.A. 2011
form.a.t. The Gallery at Porter Exchange, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2007
form.a.t. Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, FL, U.S.A. 2007
Macro/Micro, Giola Gallery, Chicago, IL, U.S.A. 2006
Macro/Micro, Space 200, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2006
The Dean Director’s Invitational, The Art Institute of Boston, U.S.A. 2004
>> Selected Group Exhibitions
Faculty Show, Adams Gallery, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2013
Faculty Show, curated by James Hull, N.E.S.A.D., Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2012
Proof of Purchase, Samson Projects, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2012
Custom Covers, The Design Museum, London, U.K. 2011
Chain Letters, Samson Projects, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2011
Here and Now, curated by SWOON, Braddock, PA, U.S.A. 2010
Faculty Drawing Show, curated by James Hull, N.E.S.A.D.,
Boston, MA, U.S.A 2010
Speech Acts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A. 2008
Art Spotting, curated by Femke Lutgerink, The Distillery,
Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2007
Studios@35, curated by James Manning, Mills Gallery, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2007
On Point, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2006
Another Product, Cornerstone Gallery, Manchester, U.K. 2006
Possibilities for a Creative Process.05, Providence, RI, U.S.A. 2005
FPAC Gallery, Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2005
New Art 2005, National Competition juried by Linda Norden,
Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2005
APPENDIX, Copenhagen, Denmark 2004
Lovells, London, U.K. 2004
mater-ial, London, U.K. 2004
Definitively Provisional, The Whitechapel Project Space, London, U.K. 2003
Hang The Curator, London, U.K. 2002
Painting in the Park: New Paintings from Bloomsbury, London, U.K. 2002
Digital Identity: Better Living Through Bits, The Art Institute of Boston,
Boston, MA, U.S.A. 2001
>> Selected Reviews
“Through The Looking Glass.” rev. of Possibilities for a Creative Process.06. by Faye Zuckerman. Providence Journal. 31 July 2005
“The Burrower.” rev. of I Went to the Slade and All I Got Was This F…ing Dictionary. by Dr. Stephen Bury, Head of European and American Collections, the British Library. Art Monthly. October 2003, number 270
“Letter From London.” rev. of Definitively Provisional. by Dr. Alison Nordström,
Curator of photography, George Eastman House. Foto File, NY. September 2003, # 4
“Success By Degrees.” rev. of Interim Show. by Andrew Renton.
Evening Standard, London. 2 July 2002
“The Slade Postgraduate Painters.” rev. of Hang the Curator. by Matthew Arnatt, Patricia Bickers, J.J. Charlesworth, Matthew Collins and Liam Gillack 100 Reviews. Alberta Press, London 2002.
form.a.t.12, form.a.t.11, form.a.t.10, form.a.t.09, form.a.t.08, form.a.t.07, form.a.t.06, form.a.t.05, Matt Aaron Templeton, 2005.
Limited edition artist book
I Went to the Slade and All I Got Was This F…ing Dictionary, Matt Aaron Templeton, Slade Press 2003. Limited edition artist book
>> Selected Awards
Adrian Carruthers Memorial Studio Award, The Slade School of Fine Art, London 2003
Project Award, The Slade School of Fine Art, London (I Went to the Slade and All I Got Was This F…ing Dictionary) 2003
Gissings Scholarship, The Slade School of Fine Art, London 2001 to 2002
The Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada 2005
Vermont Studio Center, U.S.A. 2005
The Artists Foundation, Boston; The British Library, London; The Slade School of Fine Art, London; Private Collections, US & UK
>> Affiliations & Committee Work
American Institute of Graphic Arts, Graphic Artist Guild, Interaction Design Association, International Association of Innovation Professionals
Exhibitions Committee — Chester College of New England, College Arts Association, Fort Point Arts Community, Midway Studios Programming Committee, United South End Artists
Fidelity Investments, Innovation Catalyst, Design Thinking, 2013 to present
Templeton & Templeton, Founder, Principal, 2011 to present
Freelance/Consultant, 2006 to present
Innova-Con II, Spring 2015
Institute for Global Innovation Management & IP/Innovation Connection Joint Conference, Design: Impact and Challenge, Fall 2014
Jenny Holzer, Project Manager, 2006
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Studio Program Administrator, 2006 to 2007
The Art Institute of Boston, Consultant, Admissions, 2005 to 2007
The Art Institute of Boston, Communications Coordinator, Admissions, 2005
The Art Institute of Boston, Coordinator, Extended Programs, 2003 to 2004
The Slade School of Fine Art, Administrative Assistant, 2001 to 2003
The Art Institute of Boston, Coordinator for Continuing Education, 2000 to 2001
Received the Dean Director’s Award for Excellence in 2001
The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Assistant to the Dean of Continuing Education, Personal Advisor, the Young Artist Program,
1998 to 2000
The Southeast Museum of Photography, Librarian, Volunteer Coordinator, Preparator’s Assistant, 1996 to 1998
The Florida International Festival, Operations,
The London Symphony Orchestra, 1997
Wentworth Institute of Technology, Adjunct Professor, 2005 to present
Color, (one section), Computer Graphics (nine sections), Design I (six sections), Design II (five sections), Drawing I (ten sections), Seminar, Grid Systems & Process Books, Portfolio Development (1 section), Senior Industrial Design, Visual Communications (1 section)
New England School of Art & Design, Adjunct Professor, 2004 to 2013
2D Design (three sections), Experimental Drawing (one section), Color (three sections), Design Issues & Process (two sections), Drawing 1 (two sections), Graduate Graphic Design Seminar (one section), Graphic Design II (five sections), Imaging (fourteen sections), Jumpstart (one section), Post- Graduate Summer in Graphic Design II (four sections), Summer Pre-College (six sections)
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Adjunct Professor, 2007 to 2013
Beginning Graphic Design (thirty-two sections), Fundamentals of 2-D Design (three sections), Intermediate Graphic Design (one section)
University Massachusetts, Boston, Adjunct Professor, 2013 to 2013
Introduction to Digital Media Art (one section)
Wheelock College, Adjunct Professor, 2013 to 2013
Designing the Digital Image (one section)
The 100k ArtScience Innovation Prize, Lead Design Instructor, Mentor, 2009 to 201,1Communications (one section), Imaging & Design (two sections), Design Thinking (two sections), Mentor (three sections)
The Art Institute of Boston, Adjunct Professor, 2000 to 2001
Pre-College Experimental Drawing (one section), Pre-College Visual Issues Drawing & Design (one section), Seminar, Professional Development for Fine Artists, 2005
Boston University, Seminar/Critique, The Dictionary Project, Graduate Painting, 2005
Chester College of New England, Assistant Professor, 2007 to 2008
Academic Advising (two sections), Advanced Design (two sections), Exhibitions Committee (two sections), Graphic Design 1 (one section), Graphic Design II (one section), Typography II (one section), Senior Thesis (two sections)
Daytona State, Seminar, The Dictionary Project, 2007
Mount Ida College, Adjunct Professor, 2006
Drawing Concepts (one section)
Mount Wachusett Community College, Artist Talk, The only rule is work, 2011
Newbury College, Adjunct Professor, 2004
Fashion Drawing (one section)
Rhode Island School of Art & Design, Adjunct Professor, 2006 to 2007
2D Design (two sections), Sketchbook (one section)
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Juror, Painting Fellowship, 2006
The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, Tutor, 2002 to 2003
Alternative Foundation (one section), Painting (one section)
University Massachusetts, Boston, Artist Talk, Drawing is Everything, 2012
CV updated January 2015.
I’m interested in building things, figuring out how things are made and the different meanings these things may carry to others. I am not interested in any one media. I have been a dancer, a pianist, a skater, a surfer, a painter, a draftsman, a sculptor, a designer, a bookmaker, a printmaker, a media artist, a carpenter, a chef, a graffiti artist and a professor. I am a jack of all trades striving to master my moves through various applications. My teaching and my studio practice are very connected and it is often very hard for me to make a distinction between the two. I knew from an early age when I was teaching piano in high school that teaching was something I would want to always find the time to pursue along with my other work. I don’t believe in work that only functions as decoration. Maybe my life would be easier if I did. My work is about education, setting up an object where the viewer can contemplate connections and gain insight into their own stream of inquiry. I am interested in communication and meaning. I have developed an ongoing project, which drives and informs my work. My first publication from this project, I Went to the Slade and All I Got Was This F…ing Dictionary, is a functional dictionary detailing discrepancies between the fields of Psychology, Philosophy, Literature, and Art. The piece includes more than 2,000 entries and 400 illustrations of work. The book is hand bound and 700 pages long. This artist book is part of an ongoing project of recording and organizing my influences and interactions. I am interested in the crossovers between art and science. I have worked with several scientists exploring this issue and developing research. I have taught on a program through Harvard University which explores this interaction. Making work is the same to me as being an educator as I believe art and design are forms of education. I am interested in the ideas behind the forms and in playing with these ideas through exposing them, subverting them or bringing them to a different audience. My work is about finding the solutions to problems, mostly visual. I try to work in a place where the world as we know it is brought into question.
I am a hustler. I excel at creating environments were diverse groups of people push themselves harder than they thought possible and are proud of their results. Growing up I was the kid who played with the geeks and the jocks. When I didn’t have the size of Lego block I needed for my design I would just bite one down to make it fit. I used to love taking things apart to figure out how they worked (I still do although now I am better at getting them back together). I try to remember these things when I am working with others today. People from all areas and backgrounds can work together and can add unique insights to the team. Being able to identify people’s strengths is about being a good listener. Inspiring people and communicating your ideas is about being a good storyteller. When you don’t have the correct part for the job making it with what you have can lead to a richer experience. Taking things apart, including ideas, leads to greater work. Much of my philosophy on working with others comes from lessons learned as a chid. Being a designer and an administrator is a lot like being an educator; however, sometimes design and administration are invisible arts as it can take a long time to see the effects of your labor.
I do not believe that there is any secret ingredient to working well with others. The dynamics of the team are fluid and I think adaptation should be highly valued. However there are some guidelines which can help; organization sets you free, less is more and keep it simple are three methods I try to always employ. I believe that the only real rule is to do the work. Sometimes the process is better than the product. When everyone is in sync great things can be made.
When facing a problem I believe in the process of design; define, analyze, ideate, select, implement and evaluate. This process is similar to the scientific method and I believe that any problem can be solved by using Design Thinking. I play well with others and always clean up after myself. I encourage those I work with to do the same.
This is an appropriate time in history to consider the nature and function of art and design. My students are encouraged to view their work as an investigation and as part of an ongoing learning process. Emphasis is placed on a critical understanding of their work. I believe that all media embodies a unique approach to solving visual problems and in my studio no one medium is valued over another.
I strive to create an open learning environment where experimentation is supported and where craftsmanship, along with discipline, is pivotal. I encourage students to always be around, to come and go to everything, to read everything they can get their hands on and to look and listen to as much as they can absorb.
I believe that having critiques often is necessary and useful. I stress that creativity and analysis are separate things and that these should not occur simultaneously. While some critiques can be rigorous the environment is still one of encouragement and learning.
Outside visual research is an integral component to understanding one’s own work. Additionally, writing skills are essential for any student, regardless of their chosen field. Learning how to determine the value of different types of sources and their varying degrees of reliability is essential in this media-saturated age. Writing is a necessary but often undervalued skill for visual artists.
Everything around us has been drawn. My students are encouraged to realize the importance of drawing regardless of their chosen medium or field. I sometimes use various software and technology in the classroom as an additional drawing tool. This adds another layer to the process of learning to see and developing one’s unique visual language. I often give cross-disciplinary examples related to a certain visual lesson to encourage students to think outside of their area when investigating the solution to a problem.
The foremost rule for my students is to work. I try to convey the importance of working things through to discover the solution and that in this often-competitive environment those that are making things all the time are the ones who will succeed. The main rule for my students is to work all the time and to learn to identify when this has lead to something.
1. Always do the work. If you aren't present your work should make its way to where it needs to be without you.
2. Always go. Tell yourself your appointments start ten minutes before they actually do. Give yourself enough time to get set up and collect your thoughts. Actively participate with your colleagues. Eliminate your distractions. This could mean putting your phone on airplane mode and logging off of Facebook.
3. If you are only entertained when you are in class then you are doing it wrong. Learning can be fun, but often it's a struggle—embrace this. Getting an education isn't like shopping and teacher evaluations aren't customer reviews.
4. There's a big difference between being able to access information and having knowledge. When figuring something out always consider your sources.
5. Sit in a different place or next to a different person each day. Routine can be a great thing, but can also harm perspective.
6. Always bring all of your materials. If you don't have the tools for the job making your own can lead to something good, but always being prepared is better.
7. If you can't write a convincing argument seek professional help.
8. Use spell check and read over your work.
9. Don't complete your work the night before it's due. Give yourself a fake deadline. Give yourself time to sit with it and time to fail.
10. Embrace failure. This is part of the learning process. Taking risks and falling down is easier when you have the support of a class.
11. Write emails in a professional manner. Use greetings, salutations, and complete sentences. Use spell check. Don't write in all caps. (This is the equivalent of shouting.) Read your writing over before you send it. Teachers might be friendly, but that doesn't mean they are your friends. Be professional. Be nice.
12. Be critical. Ask questions. Constructive criticism is helpful to the learning process. Critiques in the classroom should be in-depth and supportive while also being honest. Competition is useful, but it’s good to remember that the person sitting next to you could turn into a long-term professional colleague. We are all on the same team. This isn't America’s Got Talent.
13. There is a difference between a critical environment and a hostile one. Avoid the latter. There is a difference between being critical and being opinionated. Strive for the former.
14. Read the directions. Pushing the boundaries can lead to greatness, but do this intelligently.
15. Doing everything that you are asked to is average. Personalizing your work and doing more than simply what is asked of you is above average. Changing people’s perspective is revolutionary. C's are average, B's are above average and A's are revolutionary.
16. Organization sets you free.
17. Always label your work. Make sure your craft is seamless and your presentation is put together well. If you don't take your work seriously, no one else will.
18. There is no formula for great art and design. While there are guides and work can be assessed, there are no simple equations. Embrace this exploration.
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