Matthew Forrest aka briteso

About Me

Working under the pseudonym briteso, I use painting and digital media to examine the unspoken language of American life and culture. I am most interested in Portraiture and figurative art. On my path to becoming an artist, I discovered a passion for public art and have twice, in the last year, had the opportunity to create murals in public spaces around town.

Those murals, however, were not my greatest accomplishment of 2020, because one event overshadows them all—the birth of my first child, a baby girl. Fatherhood has been an incredible journey thus far, and I am looking forward to seeing my little girl grow and become the person she will be. With that in mind, I wanted to make something uplifting that would show her and other children from Tallahassee examples of wonderful people in our community. The scholarship in your names, will make that goal a reality!

As a native of Tallahassee, I have always loved the warmth and sense of community that is here. I dreamed of attending FSU as a child, and after getting thoroughly side-tracked for quite some time, have returned to pursue a degree in fine arts. My growth since being accepted into the BFA program has been exponential and I am looking forward to growing even more as I enter my final year in the program. After graduation, I will be focusing on making new work for a year and applying to MFA programs, with an eye on schools in South Florida. Ultimately, I would love to be a full time, working studio artist. An MFA will help me further that goal while providing the necessary education to become an art professor down the line.

I was born in Tallahassee and have lived here for most of my life. One of the things that I have always found fascinating are the diverse and wonderful people of this town. Being a college town, Tallahassee has a somewhat transient population, but the people who have made it their home throughout the years are truly one-of-a-kind. From musicians to athletes, to astronauts, the list of people from which to choose is extensive.

About the Mural

My initial research will consist of a deep dive into the history of Tallahassee, its local heroes, and legends. This will help me determine who should be included among the potential candidates. I will also reach out to the community for nominations. This nomination process will be promoted with social networks and press releases to local media outlets. Throughout the research phase, special care will be given to ensure the diverse population of Tallahassee is represented through targeted social media campaigns and outreach.

All candidates shall be from the greater Tallahassee area and/or have spent a significant portion of their life here. The final number of candidates shall be limited to twelve at most and will be selected for their exemplification of the “Spirit of Tallahassee” as defined by my artist statement. While that exact definition will be determined through my research, in general, the qualities I’m looking for are kindness, generosity, determination, and creativity. The candidates may be living or dead, as long as they fit the other criteria.

Beyond researching the people and history of Tallahassee, I will also be researching the history of public art and its impact on communities. I will be seeking to learn more about both the conceptual and technical aspects of public art and murals specifically. The final aspect of my research will involve learning to create three-dimensional objects in virtual reality (VR), and displaying them in augmented reality (AR).

Once the four candidates are chosen, I will create a digital version of the mural that will serve as a basis for the AR component as well as a mock-up of what the painted mural will look like in reality. I will be utilizing VR extensively for modeling and creating the AR content. The type of paint used on the mural will vary depending on the surface it will go on, but all materials will be chosen with longevity in mind to ensure a long life for this tribute to my hometown heroes.

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