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The Timberwolves' co-chaplain Matt Moberg is looking for a win — but not necessarily the one you'd expect.

Like many Minnesotans, he's hoping the Wolves will crush the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference finals. But he's also hoping for his own win against alcoholism, one day at a time.

On the walls of Douglas Flanders & Associates' spacious gallery in Minneapolis, visitors can check out Moberg's large-scale paintings of animals, cowboys, fishermen, figures in action and an abstract white gesso painting with a Leonard Cohen quote. There's also a vivid painting of his wife, Lauren, sitting in a chair in contemplation, her chin resting in her hand.

Moberg, 38, paused in front of the painting of Lauren, titled "The Drunkard's Wife." When he first tried getting sober two years ago, he thought about what he'd put his wife and family through.

"When you start to honestly go, 'How many nights did she sit there and weep?' And asking: 'Is he ever gonna get better?' The impact is real," he said. "I tried to sit in those thoughts and that's what came out, right there."

Moberg, who grew up in Arden Hills, wears many hats. He's a father to three sons, a husband, a pastor, the Timberwolves' co-chaplain and, now, an artist. He holds a bachelor's degree in biblical and theological studies from Bethel University and a master's degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He's also co-director of the Table MPLS, a community that "practices the ways of Jesus, making space for all to belong and be loved" in south Minneapolis.

Timberwolves pride

Moberg has worked with the Wolves since 2019 and point guard Jordan McLaughlin said his role as chaplain is extremely necessary.

"The most important part that he plays is taking the basketball side of things away and just connecting with players as people," McLaughlin said. "People tend to forget that is who we are — people.

"Basketball is only what we do. Matt helps us remain grounded and look at our lives and purpose from a different perspective, all while giving us hope, strength, prayer and guidance."

For Wolves center Luka Garza, Moberg helps him focus, especially before games.

"Matt does an incredible job of seeing us as humans first before athletes," Garza said. "He only has a small window of time each game before we head onto the court to give us a message, but he always uses that window to impress upon us that most importantly: 'Who we are is more important than what we do, even if what we do gets more attention than who we are.' "

For Moberg, that's also been something that he's worked on handling because doing so helps him stay sober.

"There are few things that are more threatening to my ability to stay sober than having all the things bleed into each other," Moberg said. "And so I'm trying to go like, 'This hat is the hat I wear here, and then take it off when I go here,' and it's easier said than done because it's not just what I do, and art is a part of that as well."

Art saves

On opening night of his first solo exhibition "North Country" at Doug Flanders & Associates gallery, Moberg was thrilled for his wife and three sons, Wyatt, 11, Sawyer, 8, and Graham, 5, to attend the event.

"I was expecting them to be like, moved to tears, and being like, 'How lucky we are, Dad, to have you as our father,' but it was kind of meh," he said. "There was a lot of 'Can we get some ice cream?' and like, 'We've seen all these before, Dad.' "

Art has played a pivotal role in Moberg's recovery journey. He has a music background, and in the first month after his marriage 12 years ago, he went to Los Angeles and performed on NBC's "The Voice" for two months.

"So I feel I have always felt the pressure of that and increasingly it got to me with the pressure of marriage, kids, duties, demands and yeah, my alcoholism spiked," he said.

Before trying out Alcoholics Anonymous or rehab, he went to a therapist who challenged him to do something that would slow down his mind. She suggested he do something that he was, maybe, even bad at.

"I've always had these terrible tremors, so I've been like I know for a fact I cannot draw or do any art because my hands aren't still enough, and she said, 'Well, do that,' " he said. "So I started daily as a drawing practice."

His early sketches are on display, too.

"It wasn't about making anything in particular — it was just about, 'How do I stay sober and sane long enough to make it to another day?' "

Matt Moberg: 'North Country'

Ends: June 29.

Where: Douglas Flanders & Associates, 5025 France Av. S., Mpls.

Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat.

Info: or 612-920-3497.