Kayla Mattes is a visual artist working across disciplines including weaving, sculpture and installation. She archives the ephemeral vernacular of digital culture through the interconnected threads of tapestry. She also works collaboratively in the socially engaged collective BESTTEST; recent projects include a digital personality quiz that generates foldable paper sculptures based on participants answers, shown at Front/Space (Kansas City), UCLA's New Wight Gallery (Los Angeles) and Hunter College (NYC). In 2011, she received a BFA in Textiles at Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been featured on Sight UnseenThe Creators ProjectSculpture Magazine and Rhizome.

She is currently making work and teaching as an MFA candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

get in touch: kaylamattes [at] gmail.com



b. 1989 Palmdale, CA; raised in Long Island, NY

Currently living and working in Santa Barbara, CA



2019     M.F.A. University of California, Santa Barbara (anticipated)

2011      B.F.A. Textiles, Rhode Island School of Design


Solo and Two Person Exhibitions

2019      (forthcoming) TBD (with Elisa Ortega-Montilla) Cal State University- Channel Islands, Napa Hall Gallery, Camarillo, CA

2017      The Shape of Things (collaborative project, BESTTEST), Front/Space, Kansas City, MO

2016      Live Buy Build, FISK Gallery, Portland, OR

2014      Cheesy Rituals, LPP+, San Francisco, CA

2011       BLOW POP (with Brandon Andrew), AIS Editions, Los Angeles, CA


Selected Group Exhibitions


(forthcoming) Locals Only, Left Field Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA

(forthcoming) LADYLIKE, Border Patrol Gallery, Portland, Maine

(forthcoming) Incendiary Devices, PØST, Los Angeles, CA

SHE-DEN, Red Barn Project Space, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

West Reading Museum of Temporary Art (WRMOTA), curatorial project (BESTTEST), West Reading, PA


Standard Deviation(s), (BESTTEST), Hunter College, New York, New York

I AM ERICA, (BESTTEST) UCLA New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Irene Davies Award Exhibition, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Australia

Standard Incomparable, Kunst Meran, Merano Arte, Italy (organized by Helen Mirra)

Got it For Cheap, curated by GIFC Worldwide, traveling shows in Athens (Athina Art Fair), Vancouver (Macaulay & Co), Copenhagen (Soulland), NYC (The Hole), Oslo (Rod Bianco Gallery), Stockholm (Gallery Steinsland Berliner), LA (0-0), Atlanta (Atlanta Contemporary)

Laid Back Chair Show, Kamihira, Philadelphia, PA (organized by 1733)


Everything Real, Hap Gallery, Portland, OR (curated by Iris Williamson and Chase Westfall)   

Salon, Portland 2016 Biennial: The Studio Visits, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR (curated by Michelle Grabner)

ltd wear, LVL3, Chicago, IL

Please Touch the Art, Cantor Fine Art, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA

Standard Incomparable, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (organized by Helen Mirra)

Paint by Number, Studio 24, Leeds, UK

Local Tide, S1, Portland, OR (curated by http://parallelograms.info/ and Francesca Capone)

Introductions 2016, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (curated by Jim Osman)

Color Space, Compound Gallery, Portland, OR


Over Spun, Mist Gallery, online exhibition

SHE WOLF, Present Works, Milwaukee, WI

Hot and Ready, The Cult of Pizza, The Soft Arts, Provo, UT


PlayPlace, Ace Hotel, Portland, OR

PLY in 90 Seconds, PLY, Manchester, UK


make_space_copy.jpg, The Plaines Project, Chicago, IL

Digital Plastic, Gelman Gallery, Providence, RI


Selected Press


Sculpture Magazine, International Sculpture Center, Annie Raab, “Made in the Middle: Art in the Crossroads of Kansas City”, September Issue

Creators, Andrew Salomone, “This Personality Quiz Will Figure Out Your Shape” February 10th


Paint By Number, Issue 2, Romily Alice, “Interview with Kayla Mattes”, Spring

Maake Magazine, Issue 2,  Emily Burns, “Q & A with Kayla Mattes”, Spring

Oregon Public Broadcasting: Art Beat, Produced by Laura Dickson-Bernards, "Weaver Kayla Mattes", initial air date February 11th

Two Coats of Paint, Sharon Butler, "Recommended: Introductions 2016 at Trestle", January 26th


Sight Unseen, Deborah Shapiro, “Studio Visit: Portland-based Textile Artist Kayla Mattes”, June 16th

Mist Gallery, “Interview: Kayla Mattes”, May 25th

The Patternbase: Over 550 Contemporary Textile Designs, “Artist Profile”, Thames & Hudson, June 16th

Juxtapoz, "Kayla Mattes: Tactile Textiles", January 14th


LVL3, "Looks: Kayla Mattes", September

SF MOMA Blog, "Pizza Weaving", November 22nd


Media-N-Journal of the New Media Caucus, Alexia Mellor, "A {Digital} Stitch in Time", Fall

Go to 80, Anders Carlsson and A. Bill Miller "Future Potentials for ASCII ART" presented at the Computer Art Congress 3 in Paris, France, November

Rhizome, "Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Computed Fashion", August 7th

I WANT YOU MAGAZINE, Issue 7, ”Maze Series”, Spring



2014       Cheesy Rituals, LPP+ Publication, designed by Nayeli Nava

2013       ASCII CATS, Collaboration with Nicole Killian and Marina Fini



2019       (forthcoming) Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Winter Pentaculum, Gatlinburg, TN

2016       W.A.R.P. Residency at The Weaving Mill, Chicago, IL

2014       LPP+ Residency, San Francisco, CA


Grants and Honors


Macy Family Graduate Fellowship, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Graduate Teaching Assistantship, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Block Grant, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Brink Award Nomination, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant, Salem, OR


Working Artist Org Grant, April

Regional Arts & Culture Council Project Grant, Portland, OR




Teaching Assistant, Art Department, University of California Santa Barbara (Image Studies, Art Science & Technology, Exhibition Studies, Intro to Contemporary Art, Drawing)


Visiting Critic, Undergrad Senior Reviews, Art Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA


Textiles Instructor (Weaving, Machine Knitting, Textile Marbling), Wildcraft Studio School, Portland, OR


Visiting Artist Lecture, Fiber Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Visiting Critic, MFA Winter Reviews, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR



SFMOMA Library and Archives, San Francisco, CA

Swedish Film Institute Art Society, Stockholm, Sweden