The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 7, 2011

New exhibit at Spiva features exploration of memory (Abridged)

By Sarah Guinn  Globe Staff Writer


JOPLIN, Mo. — A giant rhinoceros painting, a soft sculpture that depicts King Louis XIV, and old, rusted objects that hang from her work -- this is what viewers can expect to see at the newest exhibit at Spiva set to debut tomorrow. Linda Mitchell’s “Memory, Fantasy, Mystery” will be at the art center from Jan. 8 to Feb. 20

Mitchell used mixed media in her art to convey her main theme: Environmental concerns, Mueller said. The Atlanta based artist said she used a variety of materials that range from pieces of wood to fabric and glass, that help bring her work to life.

“The thing I find most valuable about this kind of show is I really like to make my connection and feel for the emotional concept that I’m going through,” Mitchell said in a recent telephone interview. “And (the viewer is) touched by the pieces...that’s the whole point.”  

Mitchell worked intuitively, and layered materials and images in highly textured works that brought her background in painting and sculpture into play, according to a Spiva news release. The mixed media she used, combined with the animals in her work, help to tell complex stories.  “I usually work with animal imagery; they’re the characters and the narrative,” she said. “And it’s not that you have to know the story. You usually feel some emotional content in the pieces.”

Mitchell said her soft sculpture of King Louis XIV, entitled “Too Much Will Never Be Enough,” is meant to catapult the reader into a reflective state and consider the way we live our lives. She said she began work on the sculpture after traveling around France and took the scenes she saw to an emotional level. “I started thinking about our lives and the way we acquire things,” she said. “There is so much you want to accomplish and do in your life.”

And this is one piece that helps the viewer catch a glimpse of the artist’s inner world. Concerns for social equality and global survival shine through her pieces… African animals, which represent the ever-vanishing natural world, appear in several of the paintings, linking the push and pull of history and change, according to Mitchell’s promotional material.

“There’s so much going on in each one of Mitchell’s pieces,” Mueller said, while walking through the gallery. “It’s an exhibit where each piece can tell a story and the viewer is going to bring as much of themselves to that story. The more you look at (the pieces,) the more connections you are going to make perhaps to your own life.”

Full Article: New Exhibit at Spiva Features Exploration of Memory

Linda Mitchell's mixed-media paintings include patterned fabric, digital photography, broken objects, bits of wood, metal, glass and painted images to form a powerful personal vision. Being both a sculptor and a painter, Mitchell uses elements of each medium while altering the space in which her work will reside.


Objects are both real and imagined souls in her world with an unexpected beauty. The layered images form intricate and surreal settings that reflect life's complexities. She relishes thbeauty and meaning in the broken, the casroff, the modest and unassuming: the delicate bruise of a pansy, a late father's hat, an old forgotten toy, and Play-Doh figures. The meaningful objects within the composition explore contemporary cultural issues such as environmentalism and inequality as well as personal journeys of faith, death and hope.

--Andy Rudloff Nashville Arts Magazine

Historical and Contemporary Art Gallery, Atlanta Georgia


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