Morris Mitchell accomplished artist is a dedicated and curious seeker. A Seeker meaning to search and find, to track the truth, intellectually, emotionally, and yes spiritually. He loves drama, contrast as in tenebrism of Rembrandt. Morris's pursuit of drama also is found in his great love of color coupled with a deep understanding and use of figure ground and how it supports and drives his intent. (His intent is to create" magic," to engage the viewer in a dialoged, meaning the constant challenge and discovery of contemporary existence in our world culture.)
Morris's passion as a seeker is to truly create questions not easy answers.
Morris Mitchell was born in Highland Park, Illinois. While Attending Lake Forest college night school for a short time while working as a display designer for Marshall Fields. He graduated in 1959 from the Ringling College of Art and Design. While at Ringling he connected with and studied under artist Loren Wilford. His mentor, friend and inspiration, along with being a creative driving life force, they remained friends until Wilford's death. The passion and curiosity Wilford instilled in their relationship has never left and continues to grow intellectually and spiritually.
During this time he also taught at The John Ringling Museum of Art, and during the summers he directed the Hilton Leach School of Art in Sarasota, Fl… During the 1960's Mitchell taught full time at The Ringling College of Art and Design where he remained for 42 years. From 1974-1984 he became chairman of the Fine Arts Department , This included redesigning of curricula ,The addition of new electives , and new departmental branding strengthening accreditation and the departments forward thinking vision.
During these years Mitchell continued to produce as a painter exhibiting both in group exhibitions and numerous one person exhibitions. In 1974 Mitchell took a year's leave of absence, upon receiving an assistantship to The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, teaching evening drawing classes, while earning his MA in printmaking and a minor in drawing.
The next few years brought several residencies, fellowships and grants shaping his vision, curiosity, and determination to become an important and meaningful artist. These exhausting and challenging periods brought with them new and mind bending yet rewarding confrontations. He has worked as a lecturer, juror, curator as well as serving as Vice President of The Florida Artist Group for six years. At this same time he agreed to assemble and become President of a group called The Society for Contemporary Art. After retiring from Ringling, and moving to Chattanooga, TN, he continues to pursue more humanitarian and art related efforts with organizations such as Mark Making. (Mark Making is an altruistic non-profit organization devoted to the less fortunate in our society.)
His influences have been Rembrandt, Rico Lebrun, Lee Bonticcou, DeKooning, Frank Stella's journey, Conrad Marc-Relli and James Brooks.
A Few Collectors:
Mr. and Mrs. Armand Castellani, NY,NY,: Mr. and Mrs. Donald King, Palm Beach, FL.; Dr. Kenneth Krischer, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.; Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL.; Mr. Thomas Staley, Tulsa,OK; Mr. Burt Reynolds, Jupiter, FL., Virginia Center for The Creative Arts, Amherst, VA.