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By Ron Huard

Matson’s work displayed in St. Johns municipal offices at the Clinton County Courthouse.

One of the primary ways to create 21st century vibrant places where people want to live, work, and play is through arts and culture. A special group of Clinton county residents is leading the growth of cultural interests and activities throughout the area by overseeing operations of the Clinton County Arts Council (CCAC). The Council’s mission is to promote, encourage, and economically support the arts, artists, and the cultural heritage of Clinton County. Dan Matson is a CCAC board member, a long-serving municipal attorney, and an accomplished, well-recognized artist in his own right.

Samples of Matson’s work were displayed at St. Johns municipal offices at the Clinton County Courthouse as part of the Traveling Art Program offered by CCAC. The city managed to bring art to an untraditional setting by displaying paintings in individual offices and in common areas, enabling employees and visitors to enjoy art for arts sake. The city demonstrated to its citizens that art is an important part of building a 21st century community.

Artist and municipal attorney Dan Matson.

Matson calls his method of painting a “unique technique,” which engages physical science in its application. Matson’s abstract style has delighted viewers throughout mid-Michigan at numerous gallery exhibits and special showings. His philosophical approach observes that “art tastes dreams and feeds appreciation’s senses with it. Art is what enthusiasm looks for as it plays with common stuff. And art is the taste of tastes that takes it past its place.”

While painting holds a strong attraction for Matson, he is able to juggle several other interests, responsibilities, and volunteer commitments, including ownership of the DeWitt Art Gallery and author of The Art of Art, which is a compendium of poetic statements on all disciplines of art.

Along with his full-time law practice, Matson has served for 39 years as DeWitt city attorney and is also the attorney for the village of Fowler. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award from the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, of which he is a past president.

Ron Huard is a member of the Clinton County Arts Council. He may be reached at 989-224-6071 or



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