John Lee Matney
John Lee Matney , born in Richmond VA, is the owner and director of the Linda Matney Fine Art Gallery in Williamsburg, VA, a contemporary art gallery, which opened in October 2010. The gallery is named for Lee’s mother, Linda, who passed away in 2001 after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Lee is a fine art photographer and video artist who has exhibited his work in the United States and Europe. He began his career as a street photographer and became associated with an experimental art space in Athens, GA while attending UGA. He assisted and collaborated with other contemporary artists and musicologists and immersed himself in the culture of North Georgia. He photographed the widow of Blind Willie Mctell for a film project. In the 1990’s , Lee worked as fashion and editorial photographer, model consultant/scout, and silver-gelatin printer for celebrity fashion photographers and international models in Atlanta while still working with artists in Athens. Lee appeared as an actor in Jim Herbert's 1995 video for Vic Chesnutt's "Onion Soup". After moving back to Virginia in 1997, he became photographer in residence and the assistant to the director at a Hilton Village art gallery where he worked with Barclay Sheaks and other Virgina artists. Lee began exhibiting his work at venues such as the Peninsula Fine Art Center in Newport News, the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria and the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia among others. He has won numerous awards in the Hampton Roads and the Alexandria, VA areas . Noteworthy work in Hampton Roads includes the 2002 Hampton Bay Days poster, which was selected at the Charles H. Taylor Art Center and the 1998 video stills series which appeared at Peninsula Fine Art Center. He returned to Athens Ga for a 2003 retrospective at X-Ray Café. In 2009, Lee created a music video with Paul Thomas for the Athens, Georgia, band, Supercluster for their song "I've Got the Answer" which appeared in the Post Punk Film Festival at the Fairfax Theater in Los Angeles, California. In 2011, Lee produced and co- directed "Infinite Jest IV" with G.H Shepard, a short film in the travelling exhibition, “A Failed Entertainment," which has appeared at the Anderson Gallery at VCU and the L.O.T. Gallery in Louisville Kentucky. The film was selected for the 2012 Biennial at the Peninsula Fine Art Center. The 2012 Biennial also featured one of Lee's photographs as well as the works of two other artists represented by Linda Matney Gallery. Lee conceived the idea for the gallery in 2008 and his goal was accomplished within two years. Along with curators such as Paul Thomas, Lee has established a research based contemporary gallery that develops thematic group shows. Many of the collaborative art projects involve international and American artists, corporate and private patrons, curators, professors and qualified students.