On January 25, 2006, Matthew Kurz and his brother, Andrew were on their way to school when Matthew was blinded by the sun causing him to rear-end a school bus. Andrew was able to walk away from the accident with minimal injuries, but Matthew – only months away from graduating – sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that left him unable to walk, talk, create art, or breathe on his own.
Five days after the accident and still in a coma, Matthew received notification that he had been accepted into the Kansas City Art Institute.
During his time in the hospital, Matthew refused to draw. After a year and a half, a therapist brought him some colored markers. Formerly right-handed, Matthew picked up the pencil with his left hand and willingly drew a snowman.
Currently Matthew has been attending art classes at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, MO and is definitely finding his artistic voice.
I love Matthew’s mark. It’s really fresh. You really have to work getting a student to develop their own mark making. It deals with style, but the mark is what creates the style. Through this situation and through Matthew teaching himself with his left hand, Matthew’s got this wonderful mark of laying down paint. It really goes back historically to what Van Gogh and Gauguin were doing. He’s really in that expressionist line.”
Paul Allen, Instructor
Matthew continues to make great strides in his rehabilitation. He now writes in cursive, walks some, talks softly, rides a horse named Frito for therapy, and–if you happen upon him–he loves to joke around with you.