We as a community are deeply saddened by the untimely passing and sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague, Matthew J. Mahoney. Matthew was one of the most talented and hardworking artists that I have had the honor and privilege to work with. He was one of SDAI’s first artists-in-residence, helping develop and grow a program from the ground up. Together we learned what worked and what didn’t. He stood by my side and supported me personally and professionally as I helped transition SDAI into the vibrant, community driven artist space that it is today, while I too helped Matthew as he was figuring out the next steps to take with his career post-graduate school. He even wrote a passionate and eloquent letter to the City of San Diego in support of SDAI, urging donors to support the direction I, with the help of artists like Matt, had set for the organization and the cultural climate of San Diego as a whole.
Matthew made a lot of important work that I had the honor to present at SDAI, and anyone who knows Matt knows that he was extremely prolific. I always believed that Matt would be a famous artist—he certainly had the work ethic to “make it”. And when he moved to New York with his fiancée Elizabeth I knew that great things were in store for the both of them. Just months after he moved he sent me an e-mail telling me how much his time at SDAI and my support of his work meant to him. I wish I had the ability to return the favor.
It is a shock to lose such a talented artist and friend so soon, but he will not be forgotten. He will live on in the Matthew J. Mahoney Artist-in-Residence Program at San Diego Art Institute, as we continue to help the careers of emerging and mid-career artists as they explore, experiment, create new work, and at times even “fail” in a supportive environment. Matthew’s family has requested that anyone interested in making donations in his honor please direct them to support the residency program. These tax deductible donations can be made here
May his art, his passion, and his spirit live on for years and years to come
Ginger Shulick Porcella