Matthew Liebler – Featured Artist
By Hanna Butcher
May 1, 2019
There are many qualities to Genesee Community College that make it the way that it is; quirky, professional, and talented. The talent that shines through the personalities of the students on campus leave their mark on the College walls too. The Art Gallery in the Theatre building is a colorful sample of such talents showcased at GCC.
Matthew Liebler is a Digital Arts major at the College and was able to feature his alluring art pieces to the walls of the theatre art gallery. Interested in art since about 14 years old, Liebler decided to take the leap of showcasing his talents onto the walls of GCC. “I asked Mary Jo Whitman, who is in charge of the gallery, if I could exhibit my work. I showed her my portfolio and she said yes,” he said.
Whitman said that Liebler is the first student to have an exhibit featuring only his work. “Generally the Lobby Gallery is used to showcase student work, usually it is a professor that approaches me to display a specific project or a groups of students’ work,” she said. “I appreciated Matt’s initiative to inquire about a solo exhibition of his work. When I reviewed his portfolio, I saw the work of a talented student that had a lot of potential and wanted to give him the opportunity to exhibit his work.”
Liebler finds his ideas everywhere. “Inspiration for what I create comes from what I see: people, places, music I listen to, movies I’ve seen, and things I’m interested in.” With the thought-provoking images that Liebler takes to mind when creating a new piece, he also keeps in mind his art style, which is “definitely realism. I’m kind of obsessed with detail,” Liebler said.
Liebler’s art pieces are colorfully contrasted in a realistic manner that cause people to stop and stare. Although the pieces that are included in the art gallery are created with acrylic paint, his favorite medium for art is watercolor. “I’ve always wanted to do watercolor, so I got into that on my own a couple years ago,” he said. “Acrylic is what the school uses to teach painting, so that’s why I’ve learned that medium.” The acrylic paintings that are showcased were produced in art classes that Liebler has taken: ART-115 and ART-144.
Liebler enjoys art and would like to make a career out of it in the future. “I try to do my art every day. During the semester it’s harder to work on my personal stuff though. A typical piece would take me 8-15 hours to complete over the course of a few weeks or a month. I usually have 3 or 4 going on at once too,” he said. “Most people are pretty supportive or maybe just offer criticism, but no one has confronted me if they dislike what I exhibited.”
His advice for other art students is to ask for help. “My advice would be to approach the art professors about it, assuming you have enough work, and there are always student shows going on, and people might be able to get some pieces in those – most of my stuff is class related.”