Matt West was looking to expand his business into downtown. When the opportunity to open a second location for his visual communications company, FASTSIGNS, presented itself in the King William District, Matt felt that providing a gallery space and studio for an artist-in-residence was a perfect fit for his company and the community.
Artist Natalie Nation Matthews has been studying photography and design for over 15 years, balancing work in her home studio with an active family life. “Signs have always been a cultural reference point for communities, but they also can stand alone as works of art,” he said. “I feel like this collaboration with Natalie will showcase this idea for an audience that may not be expecting it.”
Matt said he has always been drawn to Natalie’s unique ability to release the subject’s true nature and display that depth in a way that speaks to a wide audience. “Her subjects are exposed and available to the viewer immediately,” he said. “Everyone may have a different take on what they are seeing in the image, but it always originates from within the subject. That’s a trait that doesn’t exist in all photography.”
“I value people and the world we share,” said Natalie. “Everyone has a something to say. Often unspoken communication carries the greater impact. I have pursued a career in photography because it offers a chance to pause to honor these moments.”
- Cherise Bell