Last weekend we received sad news of the passing of Matthew Underwood, a much-beloved member of Providence’s creative community.
Matt was involved with AS220 for many years, and was one of those special people who participated to the fullest. He was a multimedia artist who performed on our stages – all of them: the Main Stage, Psychic Readings, and Black Box Theatre. He was a gifted educator who worked daily in the shops at AS220 Industries – all of them: Printshop, Media Arts, and Fab Lab. He exhibited in our galleries. He donated his time and art to events like Foo Fest, the Print Lottery, and Queer Arts Fest. He furthered his learning at Fab Academy, and he spent much of his free time building skills and welcoming others into the AS220 community.
We’ve been talking a lot about Matt over the past few days and remembering him. In addition to acknowledging what a creative and artistic force he was, one common theme in all of these conversations is how kind and giving of his time, knowledge, and energy he was. Matt was gentle, kind, funny and thoughtful. He was always on the lookout for small things he could do for others – producing business cards for a friend, doing pre-press in the Printshop, TA’ing a workshop, and cleaning and organizing the shop. Many people have remarked that he spent most of his time in these spaces assisting friends and colleagues with their projects, rather than working on his own. As a close friend of his put it, “He was a warm presence at AS220.”
It’s hard to overstate just how much of an impact Matt made on our community. We are heartbroken that he is gone, but his spirit and energy will live in these spaces that he gave so much to and in the many people whose lives he touched. He truly embodied the spirit of service and community at the heart of AS220. He will not be forgotten.
Memorial Service for Matthew Grinnell Underwood
Saturday, April 13, 1:00pm
Bell Street Chapel – 5 Bell Street, Providence RI 02909
Reception to follow at a nearby arts community space on Sutton Street.
From the organizers:
The services will deal honestly (not graphically) with the circumstances of Matt’s depression and passing, and the complexity of our emotions in this moment. We suggest that this is not suitable for children. We will include resources for mental health support in the program materials. Our focus will be on mutual healing and love for Matt and those close to him. Some of Matt’s beautiful artwork will be with us.