It is said that you must suffer for your art. Dean Mitchell understands the sentiment, but is not ruled by it. But the images of the life he sees around him are filled with emotion, whether it is a painting of a plain, light-splashed, whiteboard-paneled Southern church or a woman bowing in prayer. It is etched in the portraits of his grandmother’s face,who raised him from the age of eleven months in a small town near Tallahassee, Florida. As a child, Mitchell knew he wanted to be an artist, a seemingly impossible choice for a boy in his circumstances, but he bought a set of oils when he was twelve and won two awards in the very first art competition he entered. He started painting in watercolor when he was attending the Columbus School of Art and Design in Ohio and his first job was teaching art at a Boy’s Club for ten dollars an hour. Things changed when he started entering his paintings in competitions regularly. His exceptional ability in showing a special side of the seemingly ordinary gained immediate attention and reward. Within just a few years, Mitchell had won more than two hundred major art awards, including first prize at London, England’s T.H. Saunders International Artist and Watercolour Show, top honors from the National Watercolor Society, the Art for the Parks Medal for Overall Excellence and the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence.
“Mr. Mitchell is a virtual modern-day Vermeer of ordinary black people given dignity through the eloquence of his concentration and touch,” wrote The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman. “Mr. Mitchell's works are subtly tuned character studies with an eye toward abstract form and charismatic light.”
“Eloquence of concentration and touch” expresses perfectly the entire scope of Dean Mitchell’s work. He can divine in a landscape a setting’s soul as clearly as he portrays the depths of human spirit. He is able to uncover in any subject he addresses a central sense of faith, trust and perseverance.
“I was raised in the church,” explains Dean Mitchell. “The church has always been an important symbol, not only for me, but for the community. It represents our brightest hopes and highest aspirations. Many of our most important leaders have come from the church. It was here that the civil rights movement began and was organized. It is a place we’ve always looked toward to bring us through hard times”
“I lived in Kansas quite a while and that gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time in St. Louis. I had a number of original shows there. I came across this scene one spring trip to that city. This striking tree in full blossom, positioned as it was near the church, captured the sense of potential and renewal we all wish and hope our biggest cities. There is a particular ‘light’ to the piece that I really enjoy.”
This lovely Fine Art Giclée Edition is reproduced on a heavy watercolor paper, perfectly replicating the look and feel of Dean Mitchell’s original art. Early Spring in St. Louis is your opportunity to own an elegant example of contemporary art from one of the most acclaimed artists painting in America today.