Ex-Summit County Inmate Turns A New Leaf With Painting

OGDEN, Utah – The rain has a way of changing plans, but for a former Summit County inmate, the show goes on.

Matt Henderson had a lot in mind for his outdoor art exhibit in Ogden until it started to rain.

“We were going to have some chalk art and a little festival going on,” Henderson said.

He still decided to go ahead with what he could with barbecue, crafts and music.

“I mean, we’re here for a reason,” he said.

After what he went through, there was no way a light rain could stop him.

“Yes, 23. I was seventeen when I got sent to the max. It was burglary, theft and forgery,” Henderson explained. due to my drug use.”

Henderson has spent most of his adult life inside and outside of prison. However, it was there that he learned the art.

“I bought all the books I could find. I learned that on my own,” he said.

Henderson did some paintings while being held in Summit County Jail earlier this year. He was surprised when people outside the prison said he was pretty good.

“A lot of people started focusing on, ‘hey look, there’s something here.’ I couldn’t realize that until recently,” he recalls.

Now that he’s out, Henderson has found people are willing to pay him for his work.

Henderson draws and paints as often as he can while working full time and being husband and father. He hopes his story will inspire others, especially those still in prison, there is always hope.

“We have so many people spinning and coming back and coming back, and it sucks. It sucks,” Henderson said. “If these guys see there’s a way back, man, let me be the example. Let me show them. You know, that’s what I want.

Garry Walker used to visit Henderson while he was in prison. He worked with him and talked to him to help him find a better life.

“[Henderson] is really special. He has a soft heart and is a very kind and loving person. He had such an impact on the inmates of the prison. Changed its nature. It can be depressing in there, but he made it light and airy,” Walker said.

Some of his former cellmates also came to his show on Saturday morning and afternoon in a parking lot in Ogden. They are proud of what he has become.

“He’s always been a good guy, but it’s good now to see the transition,” said Ryan Evans, who spent time in jail with Henderson.

It’s the kind of transition Henderson never thought possible until he did.

“My dream is coming true now. I love life, I love God and I love everything in this world now,” Henderson said.

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