Matt Arnett is an art historian, filmmaker, music producer, and curator, whose primary interest is in the art and culture of the African American South. He co-founded, with his father and brothers, the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Tinwood, an organization that publishes books and organizes museum exhibitions.
He served as project coordinator for the exhibition Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South, organized in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad of the 1996 Summer Olympics, and served as project director for the award-winning publications Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South, Volume One and Volume Two.
Arnett and Tinwood organized (with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) the exhibitions The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, as well as its follow-up, Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt. Mr. Arnett also served as project director for those exhibitions’ three books––The Quilts of Gee’s Bend; Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts; and Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt. He co-produced and co-directed the short documentary film, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, produced the two-CD set How We Got Over: Sacred Songs from Gee’s Bend, and co-produced three critically acclaimed albums for the artist Lonnie Holley, most recently MITH, in 2018. Their film, I Snuck Off the Slave Ship, based on one of the songs from MITH, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Arnett is also the founder and curator of Grocery on Home, a non-traditional music space in Atlanta, Georgia, that exists to foster a connection between artists and audiences and expose audiences to music they may not already know or experience music they do know in a different way. Since 2012 he has been the host of the Eddie’s Attic Songwriter’s Open-Mic and the creator, with the Attic, of the Young Artist Showcase and the Southern Storytellers Series.
Arnett is a graduate of Emory University, where he majored in Art History and African/African American studies and was an All-American soccer player.
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