Interview with Bridget Matros

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Bridget Matros is the Youth and Family Outreach Coordinator here at Waterfall Arts and we are very lucky to have her. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her answers are listed below.

Where did you get your start in art?

Preschool probably. The giant easels, super long brushes, daddy’s-shirt smocks, and intoxicating powdered tempera. My dad was artistic and a creator/builder of everything, so my first memories were of toys and tools, sawdust and crayons. “We” built our first house from a chicken coop on a forgotten acre in Pennsylvania to a big ranch house over a number of years, so I always was banging away with hammers and plucking chalk lines. However, the time my dad tried to teach me to use my watercolor set to make a sunset, I completely lost it. I raged. That may have been a sign that I was an artist. I left it (visual art) behind to pursue my passion for singing, but when my voice crapped out I came back to it about 7 years ago.

What type of art do you do?

Whatever I can with the crazy collection of stuff I have and the mind I have at the moment. There were times when I was creating really tortured, pain-ful, literal mixed media pieces about my ongoing battles with PTSD, then a chilled out time of this series of works about my relationship to my dreams, but since I’ve come down to a lower place I’ve learned to busy myself with intensely focused but impersonal sharpie mandalas and insane little dioramas inside eggs. And freestyle paper cutting.

What type of art do you wish you could do (do more of)?

My favorite is making things that DO things. Those take time. All-nighters, weeks. I’m surrounded by the stuff to make them. Kind of maddening. I wish for the time and even more so, the technical skills to pull off the mechanics they need.

Do you have a degree? If so, what level (bachelors, masters, doctorate) and in what?

After a year in Up With People, which is not a cult but rather an intense mind-blowing global educational program, I went to Oberlin on a scholarship where I majored in Sociology, with enough credits for a double in Psychology, but I refused the last-semester 7:30am neurophysiology II course, and took something useful instead. I’m a first generation college student, so my survival/success there is a big deal to me.  I was about to start my Masters for Counseling Psychology, Art Therapy at Leslie U. when Maine happened.

Who is your role model?

I can’t say I’ve got real people I actually know as role models. But like many young women in the 90’s,  Ani DiFranco put me on the path of activism, feminism, intellectual integrity and waking up that led me to Oberlin and who I am today. Alanis Morissette and Paula Cole are also singer songwriters sharing very powerful personal evolutions that ground me and inspire me, both intellectually and spiritually.

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Visual? Hundertwasser, Mucha, Cornell…and Sheperd Fairey’s show at the ICA in Boston blew my mind.

What would you say were your strongest skills?

Being present with young people and cutting near perfect circles. Also George Micheal karaoke.

What do you do at Waterfall Arts?

I get to do what I do best, which is create experiences. I get to design programs and events that help spread the wealth of cultural currency around to everyone in ways that matter to them. I get to help Waterfall connect meaningfully to our community and vice versa. I’m a bridge, in fact.

Are you right handed or left handed?

Righty.

What is your favorite thing about coming to work each day at Waterfall?

I like walking under the colorful mosaic WELCOME sign I made with the Bridge kids, and I like coming in to material donations people have left for us – some super useful and invaluable, others delightfully random. Shout out to whomever left the vintage Cooties game set.

What is your dream for Waterfall Arts? What would you like the center to be like if money was not an issue?

I’d like to have a full-time position with benefits. A full staff of paid people, including a marketing guru who does marketing and nothing else, and an IT person in house…so the rest of us could focus on doing great things. Oh yeah, and make everything we offer affordable to My People. Also, the Fallout Shelter’s makeover would be completed.

What do you think is our greatest struggle here at Waterfall Arts?

Can be inferred from above, I think.

If you could have any super power what would it be?

I’d just like to be able to wave a wand and make myself well so I could use my energy to employ the superpowers I already have.

 

-Deanne Dutton

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