Matthew Contos is an artist, community organizer and arts administrator. Since 2007, Contos has been the primary administrator for coordinating international art projects, events and programming for non-profit arts organizations that have supported artists and communities in San Francisco; Denver; and Bozeman, Montana. He has implemented arts and community programming domestically and abroad and has established artist-run event spaces and work sites. He has extensive expertise working with diverse ages; socioeconomic demographics; racial, ethnic, educational backgrounds; languages; and professional levels in arts, education and social service contexts, including incarcerated and marginalized youth populations.
Contos’ areas of arts and social justice leadership include program management and administrative leadership of various arts institutions (including the San Francisco Arts Commission), the design and implementation of collaborative, site- and community-responsive social change partnerships, the identification and implementation of innovative technologies (communication platforms, database systems and project management software) to support organizational growth and scope, and the production of communications materials including news releases, web design and maintenance, and social media.
Matthew Contos holds an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts, and a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Denver. His work illuminates the dichotomy between self and other. At the basis of his work are the conceptual and poetic processes surrounding human sensory interpretations of objects, time, and space. Through performance, installation, social intervention, ritual, and reflective texts, he constructs and reconstructs situations that explore human commonality and difference. His projects work with objects, language, symbols, and social behaviors to explore how individuals perceive their relationship to others, and to the broader historical narrative. Incorporating participatory methodologies, engagement with objects, and social interactions, Contos illustrates the complexities of how information is encoded and communicated by human engagement. New meanings emerge as the work transitions from gestural actions to documentary artifacts, texts, and visual expressions.
He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a raven and a jackal.