An Overview

Thanks for visiting. My name is Matt Ballou. I teach at the University of Missouri’s School of Visual Studies, where I’ve been since 2007. At this site you can see a range of my visual and written work.

Who I Am

I am an artist, teacher, writer, and dad who lives in Mid Missouri. This blog, which I began in 2009, records my art practice, as well as words and images that I use to reflect on my experiences in this life. I’m trying to learn how to see and dream well.

Please browse the various areas in the menu above for more about me. In particular, my adventures in China and at Ox-bow have been integral to who I have become. Additionally, my heart attack was a watershed event that produced radical changes in my art and life.


I have shown my artwork in exhibitions across the US, from Illinois, Kansas, and Massachusetts to New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Washington. I have developed and curated exhibitions in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, and Nebraska. My areas of research include:

  • Comparing and contrasting Eastern and Western Mandala forms
  • Exploring and writing about the work of Miyoko Ito, Richard Diebenkorn, and several other artists
  • Investigating how natively digital art practices interact with physical materials
  • Developing pedagogical uses of technology and online learning environments
  • Using CNC routers, laser engravers, and various drawing robots in the development of artworks


My writing has been a key aspect of my practice for over twenty years. Publication highlights include a cover feature on the work of Odd Nerdrum in Image Journal, a profile on painter Joey Borovicka in The New Territory, and an extensive review of Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park Retrospective for the Chicago-based publication neotericART. In the last few years I completed invited texts for The MU Museum of Art and Archaeology, SEEN Journal, and Oxford University Press (Grove Art). See my Bio and CV for more. Several of my personal favorites are linked here.

Current Art

I have had several areas of art-making going on simultaneously over the last decade or so:

I also participate in several collaborations:

Please see my Portfolio for a broader overview of my art making and projects.

If you’d like to support me, Buy Me A Coffee, or visit my Etsy Shop for inexpensive studies, drawings, and prints (when available).

Ballou – Node Trip (WHENEVERwhen). Permanent marker, highlighter, ink, and acrylic on YUPO. 13×12 inches. 2022.