Tina Mion

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Tina Mion (born August 26, 1960)[1] is an American contemporary artist, working in oil paint and pastels.[2] She lives in Winslow, Arizona, where she and her husband own La Posada, a local hotel in which much of her art is on display.[3][4]


Mion was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up going to the museums there.[2] She apprenticed with New Hampshire painter Sidney Willis, and attended art school but dropped out before finishing, instead traveling to Sri Lanka and India.[2][5]

She met her husband, Allan Affeldt, in 1988 on a peace walk organized by Affeldt from Odessa to Kiev in the Soviet Union.[2][5][6] In the late 1990s, they moved from the University of California, Irvine, where her husband was a graduate student, to Winslow, Arizona, in part because Mion found the open spaces of Homolovi State Park to be an inspiration in her work.[4][5] They bought and restored La Posada, a dilapidated 1929 hotel in the La Posada Historic District of Winslow; in 2005 Affeldt became the mayor of Winslow.[3][4][7][8] A museum of Mion's artworks opened within the hotel in April 2011.[9]


Mion's 1996 "Virtual Election" project consists of a set of 52 portraits, of 42 U.S. presidents and several other famous people, together with a web site allowing visitors to vote among them.[2] The series has been shown at several presidential libraries, and she later added another series of portraits of presidential wives.[5][10]

A 1997 painting by Mion from the presidential wife series shows Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis holding a playing card (the king of hearts) cut into two by a bullet. It is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, as is a 2007 pastel by Mion depicting astronaut Neil Armstrong.[1][11] Several more of her works have been featured in temporary exhibits at the Smithsonian.[1][11][12] A giclée print of the Onassis painting is also in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.[13]

Mion's painting process was described in the short documentary film Tina Mion – Behind the Studio Door (2011, directed by David Herzberg) which was shown in 2012 in the Sedona Film Festival[14] and the Newport Beach Film Festival.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Jacqueline Kennedy, the King of Hearts - Stop Action Reaction, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, accessed 2012-04-29.
  2. ^ a b c d e Curtis, Cathy (November 5, 1996), "Electing to Face the Race Quirkily: Irvine-based Tina Mion shuffles history into 52 candidates for an interactive Santa Monica exhibit. Her portraits deal in personality and image", Los Angeles Times .
  3. ^ a b "Edge of the Rez: A Philly Husband, a Navajo Wife", NPR Morning Edition, December 27, 2006 .
  4. ^ a b c Cara Pancrazio, Angela (March 22, 2006), "In Arizona, visionaries find a landscape open to ideas", Arizona Republic .
  5. ^ a b c d Spano, Susan (November 14, 1999), "A Woman Finds Her Life Transformed by That 'Whole World Out There'", Los Angeles Times .
  6. ^ Americans Gather To Plan 'Peace Walk' In Soviet Union, Associated Press, August 15, 1988 .
  7. ^ Dungan, Ron (December 11, 2008), "La Posada Hotel a piece of AZ history", Arizona Republic .
  8. ^ Nilsen, Richard (November 26, 2006), "Artist, Activist Lead Winslow's Rebirth", Arizona Republic .
  9. ^ Kor, Linda (April 8, 2011), "Opening Of Mion Museum To Expand Arts In The Area", Arizona Journal .
  10. ^ Edwards, Bob (January 22, 2001), "Profile: Artist Tina Mion's works of presidents and first ladies on display", NPR Morning Edition, (Subscription required (help)) .
  11. ^ a b "New Faces In Washington", CBS News, February 11, 2009, Instead of depicting Armstrong's face, Mion's version is an "object portrait" that tells the story of his moon adventure with a mix of symbols - a slice of Swiss cheese for the moon, Q-tips and marshmallows for the moon lander, and a toothpick with an American flag .
  12. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (June 1, 2007), "Portraiture Now: Framing Memory", Washington Post, The portraiture of Tina Mion is a little slipperier, ranging from the hyper-realistic ("The Last Harvey Girl," whose subject, an elderly former waitress, offers a cup of tea so real I was tempted to sip from it) to the fanciful (a portrait of the late Jacques Cousteau consists of seashells where the French oceanographer's eyes, nose and mouth should be). ... Mion's engagement with her subjects, in other words, is both idiosyncratic and universal. 
  13. ^ Magnificent Gifts for the 75th, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, accessed 2012-04-30.
  14. ^ Walker, Teri (February 17, 2012), "Sedona Festival Features Films With Connections To This Area", Arizona Journal .
  15. ^ Newport Beach Film Festival: Tina Mion – Behind the Studio Door, accessed 2012-04-29.

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