Matthew Boonstra was born in Detroit and attended Michigan State University receiving a MFA in 2009 and BFA from Eastern Michigan University in 2005. He has exhibited his sculptures nationally including; International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, NJ., Reese Museum in New Johnson, TN., Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI.. Additionally, Boonstra has received numerous artistic awards and distinctions including, Alliance of the Swope Award of Distinction -Swope Art Museum, Visual Arts Fellowship- Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and publication in Sculpture Magazine. Boonstra is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at Eastern Illinois University and resides in Charleston, Illinois.
My creative practice centers around the physical activity of playing around with materials. The manifestations of play are also developed in an autobiographical context concerning my role in contemporary life. Particularly, my work focuses on investigating feelings and thoughts as a community member, spouse, and father. The investment of making or playing has helped me take internalized thoughts and translate them into physical sculpture. Metal is a common material in my work as I was educated in fabrication and foundry. I continue to experiment with digital platforms and integrating them with traditional processes. At the heart of my creative practice is the desire to try or play with something new or different.