Dean Mitchell

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Dean Mitchell
Born1957 (age 62–63)
EducationColumbus College of Art & Design, Illustration, 1980[1]
Occupationfigurative artist

Dean Mitchell (born 1957) is an American figurative artist who works primarily in watercolor and oil paint. His subjects, derived largely from African American culture, have been cited for their emotional depth, avoidance of facile sentimentality, and accomplished sense of formal design.[2]

Mitchell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1957, and raised in Quincy, Florida.[3][4][5] After graduating from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 1980, Mitchell moved to Kansas City, Missouri and started working as an illustrator at Hallmark Cards. He remained at Hallmark for the next three years and began entering national and international art competitions. When Hallmark terminated his employment in 1983, he decided to pursue painting as a full-time career.[6][7]

Mitchell's artwork has been the subject of numerous articles, and is represented in museum and corporate collections, including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Saint Louis Art Museum.[8] His life is the subject of an illustrated book for children, Against All Odds: Artist Dean Mitchell's Story.

Mitchell has also illustrated US postage stamps, such as the 1995 Louis Armstrong stamp in the Jazz Musician series.[9][10]


Year Exhibit Venue Notes
1990 Reflections ‘90 Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, Kansas City, MO Juried exhibition. Allen’s oil painting “Big Wind” features a jazz bassist. Other artists included Richard McGill, Dean Mitchell, and Joseph L. Smith.[11]
1996 A Dean Mitchell Anthology Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, KS Solo exhibition featuring architectural watercolors, oil paintings, and portraits.[12][13][14]
1999 The Kansas City Six: A Reunion Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, Kansas City, MO Exhibit featured art by Leroy Allen, Thomas Blackshear II, Henry Dixon, Jonathan Knight, Dean Mitchell, Ezra Tucker.[15]
2002 Black Romantic Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NY Artists included Dean Mitchell, Troy L. Johnson, Kadir Nelson and Kehinde Wiley.[16][17]
2004 Works by Dean Mitchell: Coming Home Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, Quincy, FL Solo exhibition.[18][19]
2004 Art: My Window to the World American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO Solo exhibition featuring 100 oil paintings, drawings, watercolors, and etchings.[20][21]
2005 Second Light Carter Art Center Gallery, Penn Valley Community College, Kansas City, MO Fourteen artists exhibited including Dean Mitchell, Leroy Allen, George Mayfield, and Bonnye Brown.[22]
2005 Backbone: Dean Mitchell's Images of African-American Men Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS Solo exhibition featuring 45 portraits of African-American men.[23][24]
2008 Dean Mitchell's New Orleans Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, Quincy, FL Solo exhibition featuring 42 watercolors, acrylic, and oil paintings inspired by New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina.[18][25][26]
2008 Everything's a Portrait: The Watercolors of Dean Mitchell Cornell Museum of Art, Delray, FL Solo exhibition featuring watercolors, as well as etchings, drawings, acrylic and oil paintings.[27][28][21]
2010 Dean Mitchell: Visions with Heart and Soul Leepa Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL Retrospective exhibition featuring drawings, watercolors, acrylic, and oil paintings.[29][30]
2010 Dean Mitchell: Space, People and Places Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH Solo exhibition featuring 40 recent watercolors.[31][32]
2011 Dean Mitchell: Rich in Spirit Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, Quincy, FL Solo exhibition.[7]
2015 Dean Mitchell: A Place, A Mental Space Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, KS Solo exhibition of watercolor and oil paintings of scenes from the Pima-Maricopa Reservation (Phoenix, AZ) and the artist's hometown (Quincy, FL).[33][34]
2016 Dean Mitchell's American West: Poverty and the Human Spirit Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, Quincy, FL Solo exhibition exploring poverty and the decay of the built environment inspired by visits to the Pima-Maricopa Reservation in Phoenix, AZ.[18][35]
2020 Looking at America and Painting How I Want, What I Want and How I See It Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA Solo exhibition featuring watercolor and acrylic paintings.[36][37]


  1. ^ "CCAD Alumni Awards". CCAD. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ Dean Mitchell's soul-satisfying art exhibit now at Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art Archived 2017-08-06 at the Wayback Machine. Tampa Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  3. ^ "Biography, Florida Blackloquence of his concentration and touch". Archived from the original on 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  4. ^ Kimmelman, Michael. A Black World Of Ins and Outs. New York Times, April 26, 2002. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  5. ^ For cultural critic Reginald Gant, Mitchell’s art "comes right out of the African-American experience. It’s the result of an aural construct—‘call and response’—that evolved during slavery (one group of slaves would sing out, and another group would respond). Imperative in these exchanges were issues of faith, trust, and perseverance."
  6. ^ Janicke, Tim (March 3, 2002). "Off the Easel of Success". Kansas City Star Magazine.
  7. ^ a b Gangelhoff, Bonnie (2011-03-16). "Dean Mitchell: New Orleans & African American Art". Southwest Art Magazine. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  8. ^ Biography Archived 2010-07-13 at the Wayback Machine. Autry National Center. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  9. ^ "Jazz Musicians: Louis Armstrong". Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  10. ^ "African American Stamp Artists". ESPER (African American Stamp Society ). Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Reflections '90". Kansas City Star. 9 September 1990. p. 150.
  12. ^ "Exhibition Archive: 1996-1998 | Past Exhibitions | Exhibitions | Explore | Beach Museum of Art | Kansas State University". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  13. ^ Kansas State collegian. Kansas State University Libraries. Student Publications, Inc. (1946-1955). Prior to 1946, Kansas State University. 1997.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ ArtFacts. "A Dean Mitchell Anthology | Exhibition". ArtFacts. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  15. ^ "Openings". Kansas City Star. 12 February 1999. p. I5.
  16. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (26 April 2002). "ART REVIEW; A Black World Of Ins and Outs". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  17. ^ Black romantic: the figurative impulse in contemporary African-American art. 2002. ISBN 9780942949230. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  18. ^ a b c "Past Exhibitions". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  19. ^ "Accolades | Dean Mitchell Studio". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  20. ^ Thorson, Alice (December 12, 2004). "Mitchell's 'Window' offers singular view of black culture". Kansas City Star.
  21. ^ a b "Mitchell, Dean Lamont". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  22. ^ Cardarella, Toni (1 June 2005). "Gallery's show spotlights African-American artists". Kansas City Star. p. 3.
  23. ^ Collier, Natalie A. "Portrait Of A Black Man". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  24. ^ ArtFacts. "Backbone - Dean Mitchell's Images of African American Men | Exhibition". ArtFacts. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  25. ^ "Gadsden County times". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  26. ^ "Gadsden County times". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  27. ^ Summers, Marya (2008-05-29). "Everything's a Portrait: Watercolors of Dean Mitchell". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  28. ^ Newspapers, Palm Beach (December 2007). Palm Beach Life. Palm Beach Newspapers.
  29. ^ Inc, Tampa Bay Publications (March–April 2010). Tampa Bay Magazine. Tampa Bay Publications, Inc.
  30. ^ ArtFacts. "Dean Mitchell: Visions with Heart and Soul | Exhibition". ArtFacts. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  31. ^ "Dean Mitchell: Space, People & Places | Canton Museum of Art". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  32. ^ ArtFacts. "Dean Mitchell: Space, People & Places | Exhibition". ArtFacts. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  33. ^ "Dean Mitchell: A Place, A Mental Space | Exhibitions | Explore | Beach Museum of Art | Kansas State University". Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  34. ^ ArtFacts. "Dean Mitchell: A Place, A Mental Space | Exhibition". ArtFacts. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  35. ^ "Dean Mitchell's American West opens Jan. 15 at the Gadsden Arts Center". The Calhoun-Liberty Journal. January 6, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  36. ^ "Dean Mitchell". Albany Museum of Art. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  37. ^ "Looking at America". Western Art Collector. 150: 30. February 2020.

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