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Matthew was born in Montezuma Creek, Utah, to Hugh and Helen Yellowman. His artistic abilities showed themselves at an early age. Matthew finished high school in Ogden, Utah, and had six months vocational training in masonry. He has done oil paintings as well as decorated ceramics. He did not start carving wood until 1996 when he got together with fellow folk artist, Rena Juan. He watched Rena carve for awhile, but was compelled to develop his own style of carving. Today, the two of them work together bouncing ideas off of one another and chuckling as an idea evolves into a carving. Their inspiration is all around them as they continuously search for new ideas.