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EVERYDAY PEOPLE: ‘A real renaissance man’

Matthew Neururer displayed the drawing he created of his cousin, Bree, in his ar1 / 3
Matthew Neururer, 16, drew this portrait of his cousin Bree from a photo his old2 / 3
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Matthew Neururer. 

Remember that name — he might be famous someday.

Neururer just finished his sophomore year at Pillager High School and his first year as a serious artist. 

Neururer received a drawing assignment from his art teacher Dan Devine and decided to draw a portrait from a photograph of his 7-year-old cousin, Bree.

Neururer said the photo of Bree in which she is eating corn on the cob was taken last summer at Neururer’s home near Pillager. 

“My brother (Dylan, 18) takes a lot of pictures and I draw them,” Neururer said. “He took this one and I thought it was a good one.”

Good one is right.

Neururer turned the assignment in and the quality of his work caught the eye of not only his teacher, but a lot of other people.

“I got a lot of good feedback,” Neururer said modestly.

Neururer said he started drawing as a child, but the portrait of Bree was his first “serious” artwork.

“My parents thought I was pretty good (at drawing) when I was younger,” Neururer said. “But I didn’t think anything of it until now.”

Neururer said he doesn’t know the works of a lot of artists, but has been particularly drawn to the work of Chuck Close, an American painter and photorealist whose work Neururer has had the opportunity to study in class.

Pillager High School art teacher, Dan Devine had the opportunity to take his art students on a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see artwork from influential artists including Chuck Close. 

“Matthew was able to go up and see an original Chuck Close,” Devine said.

Neururer’s drawing of his cousin Bree was among the most impressive pieces he’d seen in his three years of teaching, Devine said. 

 “Matthew is a student that you give him the materials and he’s off and running with it,” Devine said. “He can do great things in visual arts and he can go over to performing arts and play the piano. 

“Any core class and he’s going to get an A. He’s a real renaissance man.”

In addition to being a star pupil in the classroom, Neururer has had great success in athletics as well with a stellar career in high school basketball, cross country and track. 

Although his art talent is quite promising, Nearer said he plans to pursue a career in the sciences— possibly bio-medical engineering. 

Devine said Neururer’s art work has become so popular around campus at Pillager that people have asked him to do portraits. 

Neururer is currently working on an illustration project with one of his other teachers who is working on a children’s book.

Devine said the teacher asked him to help with the project and Devine suggest Neururer for the job instead. “Anything he touches turns to gold,” Devine said.

SARAH NELSON may be reached at or 855-5879.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889