James Matheson

is an artist

& sometimes poet.

He makes stuff.

Some stuff is made with words.

Some stuff is made of pencil, paper, paint, canvas, meat tenderizers, bits of window screen.


He wants people to want art,

to want to have a life with objects and artifacts that are unmistakably made by hand. Objects that are things that represent ideas. Ideas about the small, barely noticeable, and ideas about the huge, and philosophical. Life and death. Stains and dust motes.

Exhibition Work

2023 – 2024, Juried Exhibition, Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario

2023, Group show, Atelier Ludmila, Peterborough, Ontario

2023, Unframed, group show, Propeller Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

2022, Group show, Studio 5, Peterborough, Ontario

2021, The Laughing Quadrant, solo exhibition, Blackhoney, Peterborough, Ontario

2020, From Inquisition to Slapstick, solo show, Atelia Ludmila, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

2020, The Artbox Project, digital show, Barcelona, Spain

2018, Cited: Masterpiece and Memento, Propeller Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2017, Live Longer, Piss Off your Heirs, Propeller Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2008, Out Of The Basement (with Greg McHarg), Journey Through The Arts Gallery, Port Hope, Ontario

2008, Whodunnit? Mystery Art Sale, OCAD, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2007, Whodunnit? Mystery Art Sale, OCAD, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1998, Northumberland Hills Studio Tour, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada

1997, Northumberland Hills Studio Tour, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada

1994, Drawing for Art, The Station Gallery, Whitby, Ontario, Canada

1989, Group Show (with Bradley Bell, Robert Lee, Andrew Sorfleet), Gallery 76, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1984, Group Show, Mackenzie Gallery, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

1983, New Faces (9 person exhibit), Thomas Gallery, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

1982, Penticton International Auction of Fine Art, Penticton, B.C., Canada

1982, Fourth Annual Group Exhibition, Art Gallery of Cobourg, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

1981, Fifth Annual Group Exhibition, Art Gallery of Cobourg, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada



1992, University of Toronto, Faculty of Education, Toronto, Ontario

1990, Ontario College of Art (now OCADU), Toronto, Ontario

1981-1983, Apprentice/Assistant, David Blackwood, Printmaker, Port Hope, Ontario


Traill College, Trent University,
Peterborough, Ontario

OSSTF and ETFO Federation House,
Peterborough, Ontario

Works held in private collections in Canada and Asia

Lectures & Volunteer Work

2023 to present, Board of Directors, Artspace, Peterborough

2022 to present, Acquisitions Committee, Art Gallery of Peterborough

2019 to 2022, Committee Member, First Friday PTBO, Peterborough, Ontario

2016, Gender and Sexuality in Art, lecture for LGBTQ Conference, Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Cobourg, Ontario

2016, Incorrigibly Plural: A Multitude of Ways to Make and Understand Art, Seniors’ Lecture Series, Cobourg, Ontario

2015 to 2020, OSSTF provincial workshop presenter for Mental Health -Let’s Act, EQUIP (equity in the workplace), From Pain to Pride (against homophobia and transphobia), Confronting Poverty (class bias in schools), Cultivating Resilience (positive psychology for education workers)

Artist Statement

All art is a proxy for human experience, human understanding. A landscape painting is absolutely about our place within it, not the place itself. A pottery vessel is an echo of the human body and direct evidence of how we work with the earth. A minimalist work is about valuing the mind over the body, about disciplining our passions. In this regard then, all art objects are memento mori. We make art to leave behind a trace, a relic of our life experiences, both physical and intellectual.

The age of epic painting, beginning with the Renaissance and ending with Abstract Expressionism has been eclipsed by epic filmmaking and gaming. You can immerse yourself in the Rococo pleasures of special effect-driven, three-hour blockbusters and labyrinthine, all night online games. Painting and drawing needn’t and shouldn’t compete. Art must take a more poetic tack. Its job needs to become exploring the intimate. Looking at delicate balances, tense interactions, quiet moments, and sudden bursts of emotion. That has become my job.