Matthew Henderson enjoys much more than just art

When art teacher Matthew Henderson isn’t grading student work at school, he is out admiring local work and enjoying nature.

Henderson often attends local art shows.

“I love walking around and seeing what the artists are doing locally and like around the state,” Henderson said. “It’s also interesting to go and see what’s not there and trying to see what people are doing and trying to do something different.”

Henderson grew up in Clearwater and learned to surf when he was 13 years old.

“I love surfing and paddle boarding,” he said. “So when I do have free time I’ll go down to Satellite Beach or [Melbourne] Beach with Dr. Spero Tshontikidis,” Henderson said.

Although he enjoys surfing, Henderson has lived in places where he couldn’t surf.

“We’d surf on the West Coast when there was a hurricane and things like that,” Henderson said. “But that was the only time we had waves over there, then I went to college in Virginia so there was no waves over there. Then I moved to the Keys, and there was no surf there.”

His love for surfing helped bring Henderson to Melbourne.

“Really I moved back to this area because I always loved it when I was younger and wanted a great little surf location,” Henderson said.

Henderson enjoys gardening and landscaping as well.

“My girlfriend and I enjoy gardening,” he said. “We have a house, and we are totally re-landscaping the back yard.”

Along with landscaping, Henderson collects exotic palm trees.

“I’ve always liked palms,” he said. “I’ve been growing then from seeds for a long time, ever since I lived in the Keys. We had gone to Saint Pete and stumbled upon a bunch of exotic palms that one of the nurseries had and so I started collecting some of those.”

Because Henderson is a teacher, he does spend some time after school grading.

“I try to do as much of the grading as possible during class time,” Henderson said. “I am in here on the weekends grading just because it’s easier when it’s silent. I have people in my classroom seven periods a day, so I like that little quiet time to be able to come in and spread out across the tables and grade things.”

By Aislinn O’Neill