34 year-old Matt Cardinal has had two life-long passions; bikes and art. He’s been drawing and riding as long as he can remember.
I first saw Matt’s chalk drawings at the downtown Bike Gallery during the Trek Portland launch party. Ever since then I’ve been trying to connect with him and learn more about his work.
If you’ve ever been into the Hollywood Bike Gallery store (on Sandy Blvd.), you’ve probably seen Matt’s chalkboards drawings all around the shop. He’s done six of them since last summer. He’d like to do more, but his job as one of the shop’s mechanics keeps him too busy.
Matt’s role as the shop’s official chalkboard artist came about sort of by accident. The chalkboards were initially used as signs to tell customers about upcoming events and shop specials. As Matt stylized them more and more, they eventually turned into full-fledged drawings.
Besides being an experienced rider, mechanic, and frame builder (he has worked with Sacha White at Vanilla Bicycles), Matt is an accomplished artist. He earned a painting degree from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in 2002, and has a painting in the Visual Chronicle of Portland Collection.
He was also selected to decorate one of 30 panels that will adorn a new building being developed on Burnside Blvd.
When he’s not working on bikes, or drawing them, he’s busy with his new bike club, RaceCard. Matt organized RaceCard to encourage people to try different cycling disciplines. Each member has a card and that card gets hole-punched for each type of cycling event they compete in.
The club’s 20 members are mostly Matt’s friends and Bike Gallery co-workers but he hopes to grow the club this season.
You can see more of Matt’s chalkboard drawings in my photo gallery.