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 Dean Lamont Mitchell  (1957 - )

About: Dean Lamont Mitchell
 

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Lived/Active: Missouri/New Mexico      Known for: regional landscape, black figure and genre painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An award-winning painter of figures depicting black middle and lower class people and landscapes from his southern background and other personal experiences, Dean Mitchell is inspired by grizzled laborers, time-worn elderly faces, and persons like himself who have lived in a segregated environment. His career hit an upswing 2002 when art critic Michael Kimmelman wrote in The New York Times that Mitchell was 'a virtual modern-day Vermeer'.

Dean Mitchell grew up in his birth place of Quincy, Florida, a tobacco growing town. His mother, Hazel, was unmarried and worked as a dietician, and he was basically raised by his grandmother who encouraged his art talent and who bought him paints from the time he was a child. Although his mother was hesitant about supporting his talent at first, she has become "his biggest fan". (Targos)

He got his formal art training at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, and then worked as an illustrator in Kansas City for Hallmark Cards but quit to get back to "real art."

Returning to his home town, he was encouraged and supported by Joan Dickenson, who helped him with gallery representation, which in those days was difficult for Black-Americans. For awhile he was sustained by an Hungarian gallery owner in Florida, Zoltan Bush, and his wife Vicki, and he also spent much time alone, dedicating himself to his painting. He also decided to side-step galleries to see if he could recognition in competitive exhibitions.

In 1990, Dean Mitchell began to win competitions, first being the only recognized black artist in the Hubbard exhibit in Ruidoso, New Mexico. In 1997, he won eleven major national awards, and in 1999, he won the grand prize for Arts for the Parks juried competition with his painting "French Quarter Coachman". That same year he won the gold medal in the Annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society. He also became close friends with the opera singer, Kathleen Battle, and toured Paris with her.

With those achievements, Dean Mitchell got many offers for gallery representation and also for having his work copied in limited editions prints. He works on 20 to 30 paintings at once and uses both sketches and photographs. One of his working mottos came from a gallery owner who told him: "paint from your heart and don't listen to critics." Mitchells responds that "Every painting with spirit finds a home" (Targos)

Sources:
Sarah Bayliss, ARTnews, August 2001
Renee Targos, Art-Talk, January 2005

Biography from Cutter & Cutter Fine Art Galleries:
Dean L. Mitchell was born 1957, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and reared in Quincy, Florida. He is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. Mitchell is well known for his figurative works, landscapes and still life. In addition to watercolors, he is accomplished in other mediums, including egg temperas, oils and pastels.

Mitchell has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, American Artist, Artist Magazine, Fine Art International and Art News.

His art can be found in corporate and museum collections across the country, including: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, Kansas; The Autry National Center, Los Angeles; The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; Gadsden Art Center Quincy, Florida; Canton Museum of Art, Canton, Ohio and the Library of Congress.

He has received the American Watercolor Society Gold Medal, Allied Artist of American Gold Medal in Watercolor and Oil, Thomas Moran Award from the Salmagundi Club in New York, Remington Professional League, and for three years in a row the Best in Show Award from the Mississippi Watercolor Society Grand National Competition. In 2004 and 2007, he received the Autry National Center Award for Watercolor at the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and sale. Mitchell is a member of several professional societies, including the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society.

Biography from Ann Korologos Gallery:
Dean L. Mitchell was born 1957, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and reared in Quincy, Florida. He is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. Mitchell is well known for his figurative works, landscapes and still life. In addition to watercolors, he is accomplished in other mediums, including egg temperas, oils and pastels.

Mitchell has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, American Artist, Artist Magazine, Fine Art International and Art News.

His art can be found in corporate and museum collections across the country, including: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, Kansas; The Autry National Center, Los Angeles; The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; Gadsden Art Center Quincy, Florida; Canton Museum of Art, Canton, Ohio and the Library of Congress.

He has received the American Watercolor Society Gold Medal, Allied Artist of American Gold Medal in Watercolor and Oil, Thomas Moran Award from the Salmagundi Club in New York, Remington Professional League, and for three years in a row the Best in Show Award from the Mississippi Watercolor Society Grand National Competition. In 2004 and 2007, he received the Autry National Center Award for Watercolor at the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and sale. Mitchell is a member of several professional societies, including the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society.

Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
A native of Quincy, Florida, Dean Mitchell received his formal training at Columbus College of Art and Design and subsequently worked as a leading designer for Hallmark Cards, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1983, Mitchell left the commercial field to pursue the muse of realist painting in both rural and urban America.  His prodigious talent was quickly recognized with membership in the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Miniature Artists of America, Allied Artists of America, The National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, Knickerbocker Artists, and the Santa Fe Watercolor Society, of which he was President in 1993.

In 1992, Mitchell was one of five finalists in the $250,000 Hubbard Award for Excellence, Ruidoso, New Mexico; and received the $50,000 Grand Prize for the Arts in the Parks competition in 1999.  In 1995 the U.S. Postal Service commissioned Mitchell to do a series of Jazz stamps.

Today, Mitchell’s paintings may be found in the permanent collections of the St. Louis Art Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Hubbard Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Mississippi Art Museum, Arkansas Art Center and others.

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Dean Mitchell is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Black American Artists

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