Thomas Matsuda - Buddhist sculptor thankful for UMass
Thursday 11 February 2010, by
Thomas Matsuda is a sculptor in the Buddhist tradition, whose work appears on the campuses of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Smith College in Northampton and at the Leverett Peace Pagoda, as well as in private collections worldwide.
A review of an exhibit of his work several years ago at Smith College said, "Tom Matsuda is quickly becoming one of the foremost Buddhist sculptors in North America."
"Japanese monks inspired me to study art in Japan," Matsuda says. So following receipt of his bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing from the Pratt Institute in New York City, Matsuda first apprenticed under the Japanese sculptor Koukei Eri of Kyoto for two years, then lived in a mountain village where he carved more than two hundred Buddha figures for temples, shrines, and patrons. Thirteen years later, Matsuda returned to the Pioneer Valley to work on his master’s degree in fine arts at UMass.