Walter Matia was educated at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he earned degrees in Biology and Art Design. Much of his training was attained during a long apprenticeship in the Exhibits Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
After leaving the Cleveland Museum, Matia worked for eleven years with The Nature Conservancy, a national non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and unique habitats. He served as the organization’s vice president in charge of land management.
Matia began casting his sculpture in 1980. Initially, he concentrated on birdlife, however over the past several years he has worked on sporting dogs and other mammals. In 1987 Matia began a series of larger fountain and garden pieces. In 1988 the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum purchased his Great Blue Heron Fountain. In 1989 the Blair House Restoration Committee placed one of his fountains in the formal garden of the United States President’s Guest House. To complement the fountain, in 1992, Matia produced a set of bronze gates for the Blair House.
Matia’s works have been exhibited in one-man shows at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. He has been a regular participant in the Society of Animal Artists Shows, the Easton Waterfowl Festival, and the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. In 1966 he was elected as a professional member of the National Sculpture Society.
Walter’s works have also been selected for the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson, “Birds in Art” exhibitions and have toured with that show to over a dozen different museums both in the States and abroad. Major outdoor commissions can be seen at the Wichita, Kansas Botanic Gardens, the Benson Park Sculpture Gardens in Loveland, Colorado, American University in Washington, DC, and the Deerwood Office Park in Jacksonville, Florida.