Matthew Wallace was born and raised in the Spirit Lake Reservation near Devils Lake, North Dakota.
In 2010, Wallace received a Masters of Liberal Arts from Minnesota State University of Moorhead following his 1999 Bachelors of Arts in Literature from the University of North Dakota. He spent two years in the Peace Corps in Romania before interning with Senator Byron Dorgan in 2004, followed by a stint as Legislative Correspondent through an internship with Senator Joe Lieberman.
He is a board member of Arts North Dakota and served as President of the Board of The Third Street Gallery in Grand Forks, North Dakota, from 2005-2011. In 2012, Wallace was appointed Associate Director of the North Dakota Museum of Art and was named Executive Director in 2022. He joined the museum in 2004 to inaugurate and direct the museum’s Rural Arts Initiative. Under the Rural Arts Initiative, Wallace installs exhibitions in up to 15 rural communities each season and organizes week-long art workshops for communities throughout the state. In addition, Wallace started and organizes the museum’s Concerts in the Garden, an annual music series that takes place in the museum’s sculpture garden.