Artist’s Statement

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My work is about the complexities of contemporary life.

The imagery is abstract and often times uses additional representational and humanistic elements that deal with humankind and our surroundings, sociological problems, environmental challenges, and of course universal questions. I am a process artist, motivated by heart and mind always questioning those sociological or universal enigmatic questions dealing with the right and wrong of world culture.

The ideas which drive my content may take on either formal or more spontaneous forms of arrangement. The work always endeavors to engage the viewer, hopefully in compassionate understanding, both through personal intent and aesthetic interaction. Interaction happens through an interplay of emotional color, abstract environments, personal symbols, metaphors, and/or carefully placed elements devised to challenge and interact within the whole of the work. It is precisely that interplay both intellectual and emotional that I endeavor to bring into visual reality.

Visual art is an awesome universal language that can communicate to all people. It is my hope that contemporary artist through the purity of their intent, will work in the service of hunankind. To one day unite all peoples into one fraternal and universal understanding. May we all endeavor to contribute to that end.
– Morris Mitchell

Academic Career

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Moe Mitchell Artist, Professor, Global Citizen

Born June 30, 1935, in Highland Park, Illinois, Morris “Moe” Mitchell attended Lake Forest Academy and Lake Forest College in Illinois. He transferred to Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida in 1955 and upon his graduation in 1959 was invited to join the faculty of Ringling School as a fine arts professor. This began a 40-year academic career.

In 1974, Moe became the chairman of Ringling School’s fine arts department and he held that position for nine years. Before beginning his duties as the head of fine arts, Moe attended The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma where he received his Master of Arts degree in printmaking, with a minor in drawing. While serving as fine arts chair at Ringling School, Moe was instrumental in designing new curricula including Collage Assemblage, Conceptual Drawing, Advanced Painting, Color and Design, Graphics Lab and Senior Seminar in Aesthetics, as well as introducting a multimedia course titled “Incredible Phenomena.” He was instrumental in establishing Ringling School’s Visiting Artist Program and was responsible for bringing to the school artists such as James Rosenquist and Duane Hansen Jimmy Ernst plus others.

In Sarasota, Moe’s interests took him beyond the classroom and the studio. He worked on the development of art program, Sarasota’s first Headstart and his involvement with young people enrolled in the ESAW Program at a local high school, resulted in scholarships for migrant workers’ children. As president of the “Sarasota Society for Contemporary Art,” he started a lecture program that helped give birth to a “Digital Artists Group” in Bradenton, Florida. In 1996, he helped serve as the “anchor” for a community arts festival in Bradenton by mounting an exhibition of his own works in a vacant building for the duration of the festival. He served as vice president of the Florida Artists Group from 1972 to 1983, has taught children’s art classes at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and ran the summer program for three years at the renowned Hilton Leech Studio. As a visiting artist, Moe has lectured, taught, or served as guest curator at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi; The School of Visual Arts in New York City; The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma; The Atlanta Penitentiary and Parsons School of Design in New York City. He has lectured throughout Florida on the subject of painting, texture and the interpretation of nature in art. He has taught painting and drawing at Wildacres Summer Art Program in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, and continues to tutor students privately.

While at Ringling School, Moe was awarded several grants. With the grants he attended and participated in a “Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Painting” in New York City, lectured at The Putney School of Art in London,England and explored Italy’s museums, galleries and architecture. Throughout his years as a professor of fine art, Moe continued to work in the studio, creating a vast body of work. His paintings dwell in more than 30 private and public collections and he has particpated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Florida and in New York. Now retired from teaching, Moe is devoting himself full-time to his own work – painting, printmaking, collage and conceptual works that explore the human condition.

“My love for art and people and teaching has inspired me to continue to teach through my art. My work is issue-based. It deals with subjects ranging from child abuse to the environment to social injustice and the dwindling of world spirituality.”
Morris Mitchell

Exhibitions

2002
Don’t Sit in the Chair Show

Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Fl

ArtinBusiness-Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Art Task Force
Legg Mason, Sarasota, Fl

75th Sarasota Art Center Celebration Sarasota
Visual Arts Center, Sarasota, Fl

The Longboat Key Art Center “Jurors Show
Longboat Key, Fl

Keller-Williams Benefit Exhibition for SPARCC
The City Center of Sarasota, Sarasota, Fl

2001
*One-Person Exhibition: “Morris Mitchell’s Art”

The Citrus Club, Orlando, Fl

2000
Invitational Group Show: “Definition, Destiny and Desire”
First Thursday-Alpha Contempo, The Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, Fl

2000
Two-Person Exhibition: “The First Show of Newfoundland Watercolors”

AMI, Sarasota, Fl

1999
*One-Person Exhibition: Secrets – The Art of Morris Mitchell”

Sarasota Visual Arts Center, Sarasota, Fl

1998
Two-Person Exhibition: Ringling School of Art & Design Faculty

Fulton-Burt Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

*One-Person Exhibition: “The Creative Edge Presents Morris Mitchell”
The Creative Edge Gallery, Bradenton, Fl

1997
*One-Person Exhibition: “Transformations”

Meza Fine Art International, Coral Gables ,Fl

Juried Group Show: Annual All Florida Exhibition”
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Fl

1995
Two-Person Exhibition: “X-Communion”

Main Street Book Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

1993
*One-Person Exhibition: Morris Mitchell”

Manatee community College Fine Art Gallery, Bradenton, Fl

1991
*One-Person Exhibition: The Cutting Edge II”
Gallery Des Artiste, West Palm Beach, Fl

1989
Invitational Group Show: Florida Artist Group Annual Exhibition”

Sarasota Visual Arts Center, Sarasota, Fl

“Invitational Group Show: Artist Choose Artist ’89”
Arts On The Park Inc., Lakeland ,Fl

1988
*One-Person Exhibition

Anderson-Marsh Galleries, St. Petersburg, Fl

1987
*One-Person Exhibition: “The Cutting Edge” Retrospective
Lee Scarfone Gallery, University of Tampa, Tampa, Fl

Invitational Group Show: “Invitational Florida Arts Artist Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

1986
Invitational Group Show: “Invitational Florida Arts Artist Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

Invitational Group Show: “Florida Artist Group Annual Exhibition”
Tampa, Fl

1985
Individual Group Show: “Invitational Florida Arts Artist Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

1984
+One-Person Exhibition
St. Peters Living Room Gallery, St. Peters Unitarian Church, New York, NY

Juried Group Show: “Second Annual Watercolor Competition”
Ridge Art Center, Winter Haven, Fl

1983
Invitational Group Show: “Invitational Florida Arts Artist Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

Group Juried Show: “Statewide Open Show”
Glen Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

Group Juried Show: “First Annual Watercolor Competition”
Ridge Art Center, Winter Haven, Fl

1982
Juried Group Show: “Tampa ’82”

Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Fl

Invitational Group Show: “Florida Artist Group Annual Exhibition”
Boca Raton, Fl

1981
Invitational Group Show: “Invitational Florida Arts Artist Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

1980
Invitational Group Show

Hodgell-Hartman Gallery, Sarasota ,Fl

Invitational Group Show: “Four Sarasota Artists”
Polk County Museum, Lakeland, Fl

Invitational Group Show
Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville, Fl

Invitational Group Show: “Invitational Florida Arts Artist Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Sarasota, Fl

1979
*One-Person Exhibition: “Moe Mitchell in Retrospect Paintings from 1958-1979”

Melvin Gallery, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Fl

1977
Invitational Group Show: “All State Touring Show”
Foster Harmon Gallery, Ft. Myers, Fl

Invitational Group Show
Myers Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Invitational Group Show: “New Talent U.S.A. Show”
Alan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

Invitational Group Show: “Florida Artist Group Annual Exhibition”
Miami Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miami, Fl

1973
Invitational Group Show: “First Annual Exhibition of Faculty Artists
Division of Cultural Affairs, State Capitol, Tallahassee, Fl

1972-77
Juried Group Show: “Festival of States Exhibition”

St. Petersburg, Fl

1962-67
Juried Group Show: “Dixie Annual Drawing Exhibition”

Montgomery, Al

Invitational Group Show: “Twenty Florida Painters”
National tour

Awards and Honors

1988
Best of Show: Park Chase Award, Florida Artist Group

Sarasota Visual Arts Center, Sarasota, Fl

1986
Reddi Arts Award, Florida Artist Group

Tampa, Fl

1984
Reddi Arts Award, Florida Artist Group

Winter Haven, Fl

1983
Third Prize, Glen Gallery Statewide Open Show

Sarasota, Fl

1982
Reddi Arts Award, Florida Artist Group

Boca Raton, Fl

1977
Best of Show: Jordan Marsh Award, Florida Artist Group

Miami Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miami, Fl

Teahcing Experience

1974-84
Chairman of Fine Arts Department: Ringling School of Art and Design
Sarasota, Fl

1959-99
Instructor: Ringling School of Art and Design
Sarasota, Fl

Courses Taught: Advanced Painting, Figure, Portrait, Landscape Painting, Color and Design, Graphics Lab, Senior Seminar in Aesthetics, Watercolor Workshop, Collage Assemblage, Intermediate Drawing, and Conceptual Drawing.

Coursed Developed: Experimental Multi-Media Course Entitled “Incredible Phenomena”.

Other Responsibilities: design of curricula; selection and supervision of eight instructors; supervision of approximately one hundred Fine Arts Major (Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking); instituted visiting artist programs, including such national figures as James Rosenquist, Duane Hansen, Jimmy Ernst among others; conducted extensive gallery and museum tours in New York City.

Directly responsible for instrumental accredited courses in Printmaking, Sculpture, Aesthetics. Advanced History, Mixed Medium Course. Collage/Assemblage.

Instructor: John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Sarasota, Fl

Courses Taught: Children’s art classes

Director: Hilton Leach School of Art
Sarasota, Fl

Works in Private Collections

Mr. and Mrs. Sam Aubrey
Tulsa, OK

Ms. Sarah Jane Bush
Sarasota, FL

Mr. and Mrs. Armani Castiliani
Sarasota, FL and New York, NY
Impotant U.S. Collector and Contributors to the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, NY

Mr. Richard Chillcott
Sarasota, FL
Furniture Designer

Mr. Carl Coker
Tulsa, OK

Eckerd Collage
St. Petersburg, FL
Permanent Collection

Ms. Jessie Eldridge
Sarasota, FL

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Farber
Sarasota, FL

Mr. and Mrs. Holly Graham
Sarasota, FL and New York
Entertainer and Vocalist

Mr. and Mrs. Don Hamilton
Sarasota, FL

Mr. and Mrs. Larry Harris
Tampa, FL

Mr. Thomas Harrison
Roanoke, VA

Mr. and Mrs. George Heiland
Sarasota, FL

Dr. James Justice, PhD
Tulsa, OK

Mr. and Mrs. Donald King
Palm Beach, FL
Art Dealers

Mr. William Korp
Venice, FL

Dr. Kenneth Krischer MD, PhD
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Consult to the Pope on the health of children throughout the world

Mrs. Leah Lasbury
Englewood, FL

Mrs. Marjorie Lavely
Sarasota, FL

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Lindhardt
Sarasota, FL
Printmaker

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Marks
Bethlehem, PA

Ms. Grace McCoy
Tulsa, OK

Mr. and Mrs. Ron McGee
Sarasota, FL

Dr. Livinston Otis, PhD
Sarasota, FL

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Peduto
New York, NY
Graphic Designer

Dr. Bradley Place, PhD
University of Tulsa, OK

Ragdale Foundation
Lake Forest, IL
Permanent Collection

Mr. Allen Green
Orlando, FL
Music Promoter

Mr. Jeff Cameron
Orlando, FL
Producer of the music group “Creed”

Mr. Burt Reynolds
Jupiter, FL and Hollywood, CA
Actor, Producer and Phi Delt

Mr. Mark Saffle
Los Angeles, CA
Furniture Designer

Dean Thomas Stanley
University of Tulsa, OK
Formost James Joyce Scholar in the U.S.

Mr. Alan Shulte
Sarasota, FL

Mr. Walter Schacklett
Sarasota, FL

Mr. Stephen Sumner
Tulsa, OK
Director of the School of Art at the University of Tulsa

Mr. Paul Van Helden
Sarasota, FL

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
Sweet Brier, VA

Mr. Vernon Voelz
Tallahassee, FL