Matt Vinci was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After completing secondary school, Matt continued his education at Ohio State University, where he earned a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish.
In the year after college he moved to Washington DC where he worked during the day as an intern for the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs, a non-profit Human Rights advocacy office, and then put on his waiter uniform for a night shift at Pizzeria Uno’s in Union Station. Disillusioned by the reality of national politics, Matt returned to Ohio where he
spent the next five years working as a stage and commercial actor during the day; and as a ramp agent and eventual Load Planner for DHL Airways at night.
While all of the promise and energy of a young life was unfolding Matt also began battling severe sinus issues. The illness eventually spread to his lungs and culminated in a two-and-a-half-decade long battle to feel whole. His healthcare battles included six surgeries, a bankruptcy, and feelings of deep isolation. The frustration of being unable to breathe properly, and the sensory deprivation that accompanied it, led to social isolation and a cynicism toward what he felt were the false promises and hero worship of American business culture. Claims that struggling people are lazy or immoral and therefore deserving of the difficult circumstances in which they survive are falsehoods that struck Matt especially hard while he daily struggled to merely breath.
Matt persevered. He became a Personal Fitness Trainer while continuing to pursue and study acting. He eventually also put his experience as a wrestler to use and began moonlighting as a Bouncer in the Hollywood nightclub scene. The hours he maintained working back-to-back first and third shift jobs deepened his illness and forced him to slow down and to change course. By 2012 he left the nightclub scene and started taking architectural drawing and design courses at LACC while continuing to serve his private clientele as a Trainer. Matt thrived in community college. While there, a chance research project introduced him to glass kiln casting.
By 2015, slowed by illness, but encouraged by a love of the weird rigors of glass sculpting and cold working, Matt opened a small studio in a rented garage in Cypress Park, Los Angeles. Having no guidance and no backing, he funded the studio by continuing to Fitness Train and by jumping into gig work as a Lyft Driver. Over the course of 5 years, he produced several works and many sketches of works he hoped to create in the future. When the COVID lockdown hit, he was forced to close shop as his jobs and income dried up.
Ironically, at the beginning of 2020, he was also put on a new type of medicine that (unbelievably) eliminated the horrible, 25-year nightmare of illness. By then though, he was also affected by Hashimoto’s Disease and was the recipient of a heart pacemaker. The damage of working through illness over a prolonged period of time had been done. 2020 brought him the gift of breath. Matt was able to breathe, to reconnect with his senses, and to rest a great deal thanks to Pandemic Relief payments. That respite was needed, and he felt, deserved. In December of 2021, he followed his girlfriend to the San Francisco Bay Area and began working for none other than his old friend and mentor, David Ruth. Matt continues to learn from and to work for his cherished and kind mentor. As his new works are developed, little by little, Matt is fulfilling his goals and growing as a unique artist in his own right.
2015 Corning Museum Glass Studio, Corning, NY. Cold Work and Hxtal Lamination with Martin Rosol and Pavel Novak.
2014 Pratt Fine Art Center, Seattle, WA. Open Faced Kiln Casting with Lisa Zerkowitz.
2013 The Glass Studio, Highland Park, CA. Casting an Lost wax Casting with Cathi Milligan.
2012 Bullseye Glass Co., Emeryville, CA. Bas Relief Kiln Casting.
2011-2014 Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA. (Drawing, Design and Sculpture Courses)
2007-2012 Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA. Architecture Design and Drawing courses.
2015 Corning Glass Studio, Corning, NY
2012 Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA
2018 Emerge, Bullseye Glass Gallery, Portland, OR
2017 Earth Recycled, Downey Civic Theatre, Downey, CA
2017 Chocolate and Art Show, The Vortex, Los Angeles, CA
Architectural drawing, Architectural design and model making, Pencil drawing. Open faced kiln glass casting, Wet saw. Wet angle grinder. Hand sanding glass. Grinding and polishing glass using lap grinding, angle grinding and cerium oxide buffing.