Matthew Rangel is from the San Joaquin Valley of California, back-dropped by the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Here, Rangel grew up surrounded by world-renowned agricultural productivity amidst economically underserved valley communities challenged with significant cultural, ecological, and environmental concerns. This setting played a significant role in shaping Rangel’s creative inquiry of how human constructs of land shape his embodiment of place. Framed by the graphically encoded language of maps Rangel’s work is generated primarily using lithography along with a variety of other traditional and digital printmaking methods to incorporate observation-based drawing, photography, and historic inquiry, with topographic field research. This often involves adventurous field explorations along with discussion among experts from a variety of different disciplines.
Matthew Rangel received a MFA in printmaking from the University of Alberta and a BFA in Drawing/Painting and Printmaking from California State University Long Beach. His work has been featured in numerous shows nationally, internationally, and are included in collections such as the Stonehouse Residency for the Contemporary Arts, the White House in Washington DC, the Urban Land Institute in Washington DC, and at Mount Tai National Park in China. Among notable publications that feature his work are Journeys beyond the Neatline: Expanding the boundaries of cartography, a monograph published by University of Alberta Libraries, Elephant Magazine, Print Magazine, and in an international graphic arts anthology titled A Map of the World: According to Illustrators and Storytellers, published by Gastalten, Berlin.
Matthew Rangel served his former community through volunteer and leadership roles while teaching at the College of the Sequoias, in California. This included coordinating and participating in a series of community events of which he was a founding member called The Kaweah Land & Arts Festival where scholars, artists, nature enthusiasts and local non-profit groups collaborated on public events throughout the surrounding landscape. In addition, he served as a mentor for the College of the Sequoias Puente (Bridge) Project and he has served as a board member for the Sequoia Natural History Association, Arts Visalia, and as an advisor for the Sequoia Parks Foundation.
Matthew Rangel is currently an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at the University of New Mexico.