Photo of Luke Matjas

Luke Matjas

Professor, Art

Contact Information


MFA Art, University of California, Santa Barbara


As an expatriate of Orange County’s suburban outback, Luke Matjas has some expertise when it comes to colonized space and constructed narratives. Hearkening back to the willful chaos of early curiosity cabinets, his work investigates the ways in which natural and unnatural histories have become intertwined.

The formats Matjas employs alternate between room-sized digital prints, site-specific installations, and intimate drawings. Taking inspiration from antiquated pulp science books, natural history museums, and even the local Home Depot, his explorations exist somewhere between Hieronymus Bosch and contemporary skateboard graphics. As a trail ultrarunner, he spends a great deal of time outside, taking his visual cues from direct encounters with regional flora, fauna, and geology.

An artist, writer, and designer, Luke Matjas has exhibited in museums, galleries, alternative spaces, and even scientific conferences. In 2015, Matjas served as the Artist in Residence in Joshua Tree National Park. His work has been featured at the UC Davis Design Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Longmont Museum in Colorado, and the Grace Hudson Museum. His first solo museum exhibition was at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oxnard, CA (2016). His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ventura County.

Matjas earned his B.A. (1997) from UCSD, and his M.F.A. (2002) from UCSB. He has been at CSUCI since 2003, teaching design, digital media, and drawing. When not on campus, he can usually be found running amok amidst the nearby Conejo Alps and the mighty Santa Monica Mountains.

Representative Courses Taught

  • ART 313 Graphic Design for Print Media
  • ART 105 Drawing and Composition
  • ART 323 Packaging and Pre-Press