Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Meet artist and cyclist Matt Cardinal

Posted by on May 31st, 2006 at 6:29 am

Artist Matt Cardinal

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.

Artist Matt Cardinal
Artist Matt Cardinal

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.

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  • vj May 31, 2006 at 11:49 am

    I’ve always wondered about those great chalk drawings! Thanks for the profile.
    I have a couple photos of his chalk drawings (Santa on a BMX and Ga toch fietsen!)
    at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vj_pdx/tags/mattcardinal/

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  • matt cardinal May 31, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for the article. The chalk boards look really nice all lined up together. I’d like to clarify a couple things: I’m not a frame builder. I am very interested in building bike frames, but haven’t put one together yet. And I’ve made around 20 boards so far. A lot of them got erased early on, but we’ve started to save them.
    Thanks again Jonathan, It was nice meeting you. I think bikeportland is a great resource for the cycling community. Your hard work is appreciated.

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  • Sister Cynthia May 31, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Great article…of course I know how talented you are! Madison loves your drawings, too!

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  • KARRI DIERCKSEN June 1, 2006 at 6:21 am


    What talent you have! Thanks for sharing
    your beautiful gift for drawing with all
    of us!

    Karri, Mesa Arizona

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  • tracy June 1, 2006 at 10:13 am

    What a cute photo! Awwww, shucks & I like the chalkboards, too!

    Clever name on the bike club.

    See you soon!

    tracy & joe

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  • Amanda June 1, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    What a talented guy! Thanks for covering this story.

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  • bArbaroo June 5, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    Matt also did the drawing on the bike gallery shopping bags and soon-to-be-available t-shirts.

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  • liz taron-canada June 7, 2006 at 8:29 pm


    Great art work. Hope to see it some day.


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  • Jeanne and Paul June 16, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    Good article. We like Matt’s work, too. Can’t wait to see the t-shirt.

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  • […] Matt Cardinal – Chalk drawings. […]

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  • Rob in AZ July 25, 2006 at 11:03 am


    I came across this article and was happy to see you are still involved in bikes and art. You got me into biking back in High School. It puts a smile on my face to see you still doing what you love.

    Robert, Scottsdale / AZ

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  • Jeanne and Paul September 15, 2006 at 11:08 am

    Hey, Matt, we got the blue t-shirt. Love it … proud to wear it. Love your art!
    Jeanne and Paul

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  • Jim-Canada September 14, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Still drawing and riding. That\’s fantastic!!

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  • Chalkboards | mattcardinal.com January 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    […] That started my progression into becoming “the chalkboard guy”, and even led to a little publicity. Eventually I moved into a full time marketing position creating graphics and other content for the […]

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