Text Only Skip to content
Skip header navigation.
Skip sub-section linksSTLCC Home » College News » » STLCC-Meramec Student Receives $20,000 Art Scholarship

STLCC-Meramec Student Receives $20,000 Art Scholarship

April 20, 2015

Matthew Johnson  

The academic future of St. Louis Community College-Meramec student Matthew Johnson is much brighter as he is the recent recipient of a $20,000 scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute.

The transfer student scholarship can be extended a second year, if grade-point average requirements are met, bringing the total to $40,000. Johnson only recently applied for the scholarship.

“In January, I applied with all my materials and they (Kansas City Art Institute) decided where in their programs I would fit, and it happens that the Painting department thought my work fit with what they like to experiment with, sculpture and mixed media work,” he said.

Art has influenced Johnson since he was a child, and he cites the Saint Louis Art Museum as one of his main influences.

“I definitely think their collection of German artists has greatly influenced my work,” he said. “I'm a huge fan of Anselm Kiefer. As a kid around the age of 6 to 8, I remember being taken aback emotionally and physically by ‘Breaking of the Vessels.’ I would stand in front of it for minutes and minutes of absolute silence, just feeling the power of what he was communicating through it.  That proved to me that art is at its most powerful when it can consume the viewer. Sure there's beauty in it, but it’s the raw emotion that struck me and had me in awe.”

Since graduating from Clayton High School in 2009, Johnson knew he wanted to be an artist, but was uncertain about his path until a unique opportunity presented itself.

“I wasn't sure of what mediums I would want to focus on or even what type of artist I'd want to be until I had the opportunity to show my work in a solo show at the Reese Gallery in June 2014.” Johnson said. “I showed a series of drawings I created for Amy Reidel's Drawing III course and a large sculptural installation. I realized that I very much want to be a gallery artist and I love the idea of creating work that's hard to purchase or own.”

Johnson describes his time at STLCC as incredibly uplifting.

“Meramec has been an amazing place to learn,” he said. “After my first successful semester, I realized how nurturing Meramec was and how incredible the faculty is. I've had some of the most amazing teachers that have supported me and guided me through so many personal and creative blocks. I honestly feel like if I were to stop going to school right now, I would land on my feet all due to the guidance that my professors have given me. Meramec is responsible for giving me the confidence to move forward in education. I've realized that I can overcome some incredibly big hurdles and have the motivation to take on more.”