Walter Matia was educated at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he earned degrees in Biology and Art Design. Much of his training was attained during a long apprenticeship in the Exhibits Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Walter worked for eleven years with the Nature Conservancy, a national non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and unique habitats. He began casting bronze sculptures in 1980.
He is a National Sculpture Society Fellow; Society of Animal Artists Master Signature Member; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Master Wildlife Artist and Gilcrease Museum Hall of Fame Honoree. He has received the National Sculpture Society Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals; Society of Animal Artists Leo J. Meiselman Award and Award of Excellence; Prix de West James Earle Fraser Award and Major General & Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award; Masters of the American West, Kenneth T. & Eileen L. Norris Foundation Award and James R. Parks Trustee Purchase Award; and the National Museum of Wildlife Art Red Smith Award.
His sculptures are included in the collections of the Thomas Gilcrease Museum; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum; Buffalo Bill Historical Society; Briscoe Western Art Museum; Wichita Kansas Botanical Gardens; Benson Park Sculpture Gardens; National Museum of Wildlife Art; Cleveland Zoo and Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Bird Dog Hall of Fame, AKC Museum of the Dog and Reliant Stadium NFL Texans. iconsVers