University of Nebraska Medical Center

Matthew Placzek

An artist for more than three decades, Matthew Placzek creates sculptures that range from small pieces to large-scale sculptures that stand 90 feet tall. No matter the size, his work is transformative, moving and unforgettable.

Born in 1964 in Columbus, Nebraska, Matthew entered the world of sculpting at age 14, creating figures of wildfowl and nature he observed near the Platte River. Art shows and competitions followed, and as his visibility increased, his unique style was lauded by many in the art world. While attending Hastings College and Creighton University, he was represented by several art galleries around the country. At the age of 22, Matthew was honored by the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, who hosted the artist’s one-man show at the American Embassy in Prague. That same year, he had the honor of presenting an original sculpture of an American bald eagle to President Ronald Reagan.

Shortly after creating his first large-scale commission in 1991, Matthew found himself catapulted into the world of municipal and private sculptural art projects. Universities, healthcare centers and corporations came calling, and he welcomed the opportunities to transform their open spaces with stunning works of art.

Matthew’s fascination with sculptural composition has evolved into an art form that is both meticulous in detail and free-flowing in design. His focus, once on monumental work, now includes large, multi-faceted sculptural installations; his most recent project features eighty bronze sculptures. In many cities, these pieces have become landmarks that have received widespread acclaim in numerous national art and architectural publications.

Making a personal connection between his art and the viewer is essential to Matthew. Through his sculptures, he hopes to evoke an emotional reaction – whether reflective or joyful. Each intricately-detailed piece offers an engaging, interactive experience, inviting viewers to walk around it, feel the different textures, and examine how shadows, layers and movement are created.

To date, Matthew’s pieces are included in over fifty hospital, university and corporate collections. With exciting projects always in the works, this artist promises many years of adding beauty to the world and dazzling audiences along the way.

More on the artist’s website.


Spring Sonata - Iris Garden by Matthew Placzek in the Buffett Cancer Center.

Spring Sonata - Iris Garden

In Spring Sonata by Matthew Placzek, each monumental iris is unique, part of variety of curved floral silhouettes joined by the wavy and curling lines of the leaves. The dancing, lit butterflies add to the movement and connect the groupings of flowers.

Organic Wood Benches and Planter

Matthew Placzek's organic and nature-inspired benches and planter create a calming and reflective setting for patients, visitors and medical professionals.

Colors of the Prairie

In Colors of the Prairie, Matthew Placzek incorporates elements of nature, such as the prairie grasses of Nebraska, to create soothing works of art to help patients and their families heal physically, spiritually and emotionally.