Matt Fusilier

Matthew Oscar Fusilier, a native of south La., was born and raised in the city of Opelousas in 1957.

He began at an astonishingly early age of wanting to "be an artist."

Raised in a traditional family of Cajun values, he never quite understood why his desire to make art was so differant from his contemporaries.

After graduating high school with several honors, (he served on  two Student Councils, and excelled academically, going to state rallies in science, journalism, and history, his ultimate passion!)... he moved to Baton Rouge and began Cosmotology studies.

Yet he attributes much of his understanding of human nature from his work at an early age in his favorite uncle's neighboor small grocery store, where he grew up and worked for his earliest years in the decade of the turbulant 60's!

He became a hairstlyist in 1976, (later an educator and licensed instructor).

Matthew eventually became known professionally as "Oscar"  (his paternal surname) and began his next ten year period in Baton Rouge.

Matthew worked as a cosmetic and colour specialist in the 1982-83 pretigious Miss USA and Miss Universe Pagents as a represenitive for Maybelline.

Ambition drives hard upon early success. Matthew determined  in 1985 to move to New Orleans, (a  "magical place" of his imagination!).

He, and his St. Charles Ave. salon and team were  recognized for his drive and  evident talent in the Regional Alpha Awards for several years (1992, '93 & 94.) The  prestigious awards were for not only hair design, but for cosmetics in "fantasy" catogories and the even more surprising fields of Carnival costume design, photography and designing accesories.

The salon  was host to a variety of  fashion, art, as well as musical functions,  which brought many delightful evenings  to his friends and clients.  These often featured several  "colorful" and talented local celebrities.

"Oscar's" was also a sponsor and fellowship "partner" of the "Partnership in Education Program"  in 1991-92 with the "magnet school, Benjamin Franklin, then recently moved to the UNO campus.

But during this time his health changed.

This required submitting to a three year, weekly period of chemotherapy.

Although he continued working, even daily after his treatments, thanks to the remarkable support of his parents and staff...  Matthew continually kept his belief that there was something else in store.

And it was during this time  he began activally pursuing his passion for art in painting and designing jewelry again,

Yet it was never far from his early desires. Or as they say in Cajun, his "on vie."

Matthew sold "Oscar's" in 1985, yet continued to work as a part time stylist both uptown and also on Julia Street, where he became quickly attuned to the famed area of "the Arts District".

On the third day following  Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Matt (and his partner Mike, along with pet cats and fish), regretfully evacuated the city.

After much deliberation, he determined to "move back to his old roots" in historic Grand Coteau (near Opelousas) in St. Landry parish.

Retired for several years, he devoted his time to caring for his  awesome, yet sadly, aging parents. As his Muse demanded, Matt continued to paint, and was accepted into two art showings in Opelousa and Lafayette's historic downtown District. 

Yet it was his  admittedly humble "self taught" skills that inspired him to create jewelry design.

It is something he always "fancied as a hobby."

Matt, (or "Oscar") has donated much of his work in past decades to the  various notable charities which include the "NOAIDS" annual art Gala,  "Art Against AIDs", the Human Rights  Fund Campaign Auctions, The American Cancer Society, The "Battered Women's House (in Baton Rouge) and Multiple Schlerosis "Cut a Thons" hosted  by Tulane University.

In  the very recent years he performed a three year volunteer position on the Board of Directors for Acadiana Cares in Lafayette.

This past year, he began his bead work, this "Self taught hobby"... and is pleased , and humbly honored... to be accepted by the acclaimed Julia St. art community of Ariodante!

 

"It seems that everything we learn, particularly from our earliest cognizance, is that there is some form of art, beauty, and historical signifigence.

Always  and at All times, in some form,...   Undefinable energy always around us.

The artist's motivation is to somehow express this energy, as personal to themselves... to the passions of even those who are both familiar and those who are unsuspecting strangers. "

 

"Life,  in itself, is by no means always pleasant.

Neither is there the slightest of  gaurantee it is even necessarily beautiful.

 

Thru the artist' vision, one can make for an instant "en'tre' " ...  into the very sphere of  anothers outside awareness.

Whether it is viewed as either "pleasing" or "painful", appealing or repusive, or "tasteful"  or an abhorrance.... 

Art is meant to stir emotion to individual senses ... like some olfactory nerve.

It arouses or repels.

An elusive " Yin" and "yang". So hard to define, perhaps even inexplicable!

Yet so symetrical to the molucular essence of Life.

 

It is our obligation to view each human endeavors. And to fathom the inspiration.

We should perhaps judge privately for ourselves that 'which may be art."

 

It is in constantly  searching, thinking, and questing again that which makes for personal contentment .

This strikes me as making  the journey infinitly more rewarding."

 

(Matthew "Oscar" Fusilier, Feb. 2013)

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