Walter Matia was born in 1953
in Cleveland, Ohio. He was educated at Williams College in
Massachusetts where he received degrees in Biology and Art
Design. Much of his training was attained during a long apprenticeship
in the Exhibits Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural
History. After leaving the Cleveland Museum, Matia worked
for eleven years with the Nature Conservancy.
Matia began casting his sculpture
in 1980. Initially, he concentrated on bird life, but then
began working on sporting dogs and other mammals. In 1987
he began a series of large fountain pieces. In 1989 the Blair
House Restoration Committee placed one of his fountains in
the formal garden of the United States President's Guest House.
To complement the fountain, he produced a bronze wall frieze
for the Blair House in 1992.
Matia's works have been exhibited
in one-man shows at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. He is a regular
participant in the Society of Animal Artists shows, the Waterfowl
Festival in Easton, MD, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition
in Charleston, SC, and the Prix de West Invitational Exhibition
in Oklahoma City, OK. In 1996 he was elected as a Professional
Member of the National Sculpture Society.
Matia's works have also been
selected for the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's
"Birds in Art" exhibitions and have toured to dozens
of museums both in the United States and abroad. Major outdoor
commissions include: Wichita Kansas Botanical Gardens; Benson
Park Sculpture Gardens in Loveland, CO; American University
in Washington, DC; Deerwood Office Park in Jacksonville, FL;
three regional offices of Merrill Lynch, and the NFL Reliant
Stadium in Houston, TX.