Executive Director

Matthew Fluharty

Matthew is the Founder and Executive Director of Art of the Rural, a member of M12 Studio, and faculty on the Rural Environments Field School. His work flows between the fields of art, design, humanities, policy, and community development.

His poetry and essays have been published widely, and his work with his colleagues in the American Bottom region of the Mississippi River has been featured in Art in America. Matthew is the organizing curator for High Visibility: On Location in Rural America and Indian Country, a long-term collaboration with the Plains Art Museum. He recently received a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for this ongoing work.

Born into a seventh-generation farming family in Appalachian Ohio, Matthew’s upbringing instilled a belief that everyday, multigenerational knowledge can teach us about where we have been, where we are, and where we might be going. Those lessons led him to take vows with the Zen Garland Order, a community that is a part of what’s known as the Socially Engaged Buddhist movement.