Lives in: Rockville, MD
Media & Subject: Acrylic (including fluorescent and phosphorescent versions) and mixed media. My subjects are primarily sourced from science fiction and fantasy.
Your experiences as an artist: In reflecting on my public experiences as an artist, I feel that I have had three periods when I actively exhibited my paintings: in my 20s with my father at Sundays in the Park in Boston, at Third Friday events in downtown Salisbury, MD a decade ago, and now with MAA. My work has been shown in the Creative Expressions receiving and Honorable Mention in the Portrait category; Kensington Library, and the Kensington Paint the Town Show, Colorful Exploration at Glenview Mansion, Oasis Gallery, and the more recent virtual Portrait Show.
Why you joined MAA: I joined MAA in March 2019 because I wanted to meet other visual artists in the area and to have the opportunity to exhibit with them and support each other.
Why you volunteered to Chair Hospitality: I volunteered to join the MAA board and become the committee chair for hospitality because I liked throwing parties! Bringing good food and drink is all about making any event a party. I recommended Bota Nero in Rockville, MD to cater the Paint the Town Show – MAA’s largest annual show. I thought it was important to have a source of delicious, varied, and safely prepared food for such a large public event. I think that really raised the fun level of the show and most people really liked the food and sangria.
Why you want to be the Co-VP of Shows: I enjoy helping to create a variety of art events for our members, increasing their visibility to the public in a way that enhances their ability to sell their work.
Something fun about you: In addition to being a crazy chemist, throwing in chemical effects to enhance my art, I am also a science fiction and fantasy writer and won 3rd place for a short story submitted to the 2020 Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing Contest.
Artist Biography: I started doing visual art at the age of 4, learning from my late father, James Marcus Mitchell, co-founder of the Boston Afro-American Artists Association. When I was in college, my father and I exhibited together at the outdoor Sunday in the Park art shows in Roxbury, the largest African-American section of Boston.
My love of both science and art made me stay involved in both. Even while getting my B.S. in chemistry at M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA, I painted a sea monster on the wall of my coed fraternity. After getting my Ph.D. in organic chemistry and retired after 23+ years as a chemistry professor, I now have the opportunity in my new science editor job to be more deeply immersed in the visual arts. One of my central themes is otherness, representing that which is outside of our normal experience in a way that challenges instinctive rejection of the other, fostering both intellectual and spiritual growth. Otherness fits in well with my love of creating science fiction and fantasy art. My application of fluorescence and phosphorescence in some of my paintings accentuates light-dark interplay and enhances the illusion of depth.