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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

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Beach Museum of Art
Kansas State University
14th St & Anderson Ave
Manhattan, KS 66506



Dean Mitchell: A Place, A Mental Space 

2015 Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Gift Print Artist

March 3- June 21, 2015

Dean Mitchell grew up poor in a small Florida panhandle town. After studying at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and working as an illustrator for Hallmark in Kansas City, Mitchell gained attention as a watercolorist and oil painter by entering –and winning—juried exhibitions. He had great success in Western-art-themed exhibitions, such as the Phoenix Art Museum's "The West Select".

During one of the artist's visits to the Southwest, a friend took the Tampa, Florida-based artist on a drive through the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in metropolitan Phoenix. Mitchell was immediately struck by the visual similarities between the structures he encountered on the reservation and the buildings in his hometown of Quincy, Florida. Notable for him, too, were the differences between the romanticized images of Native American life in Western art exhibitions and what he observed on the Pima-Maricopa land. Determined to draw attention to such discrepancies, Mitchell began a series of reservation scenes.

With flat areas of color and high contrast, Mitchell's oil paintings have a quiet, sun-drenched feeling. Areas of his watercolors border on abstraction, providing just enough visual information for viewers to fill in necessary details. His paintings create a strong sense of place, capturing the spare, desolate beauty of a community in the harsh desert climate.

Dean Mitchell: A Place, A Mental Space includes watercolor and oil paintings of scenes from the Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the artist's hometown. The exhibition will also feature the 2015 Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Gift Print, an etching by Mitchell printed by master printmaker John Costin. This exhibition is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Business Partners.

The 2015 Friends of the Beach Museum of Art Gift Print is now available for purchase for Friends of the Beach Museum of Art members at the Sponsor level and above. Contact Robin Lonborg at 785.532.7718 or rlonborg@ksu.edu for more information.

Related Programs

All programs take place at the Beach Museum of Art and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Early Release Workshop-Water Colors

April 8, 2015 2-4 p.m.

View Dean Mitchell's stunning watercolors and learn more about watercolor techniques. Age 5 and up. $5 per participant, $3 for members. Reservations required.

Dean Mitchell Reception and Artist Talk

April 23, 2015

Talk at 5:30pm by Friends of the Beach Museum of Art gift print artist Dean Mitchell, followed by a reception