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Artist: Mitchell Spain


Artist: Mitchell Spain
Mitchell Spain, IOWA
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My upbringing in rural Iowa plays a significant role in my studio practice; it has given me an aesthetic for rust, decay, and objects that have long outlived their purpose. These aesthetic qualities shape my work conceptually, with strong suggestions of time, nostalgia, power, and the environment.

Working in the realm of trompe l’oeil I produce work that “fools the eye” deeper than their rusty surfaces, deviating from these farm-found forms in ways that alter their intended purpose or meaning. Recently I have been focused on a specific form; the oil can. Assembling these altered oil containers into larger architectural structures allows the individual elements to gain power. These forms are filled with physical and emotional tension in a period of great uneasiness about the future of our land, our resources, or our civilization as a whole.

EDUCATION
MFA in Studio Arts, Ceramics, University of Kansas (2015)
BFA in Studio Arts, Ceramics, University of Iowa (2012)
Associate of Arts, Kirkwood Community College (2009)

PUBLICATIONS/EXHIBITIONS
Digital Debut Artist, Belger Crane Yard Studios, Kansas City, MO (December 2016).
Our Cups Runneth Over, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA (December 2016).
Objectus, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR (April 2016).
Orton International Cone-Box Show, Kansas City, MO (2016).
Generations, NCECA, Kansas City, MO (March 2016).
Last Call, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN (March 2016).
Decalcomania, Reese Gallery, St. Louis MO (2015).
NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition (2015, 2013).
Building to Fall; Solo MFA Thesis Exhibition (2015).
Spain, Mitchell,Threaded.Ceramics:TECHNICAL;Issue 39 November 2014,pp.8-13 (2014).
Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, Zanesville, OH (2014).
IMAGE: A Ceramic Show of Decalcomania (2014).
Annual Workhouse Clay National, Lorton, VA (2014, 2013).
Yunomi Invitational Exhibition, AKAR Art | Design | Architecture (2013-2016).
Bluegrass Bourbon: By the Bottle, By the Ounce: National Juried Exhibition (2013).
It’s Only Clay National Juried Ceramics Competition and Exhibition (2012).
The Teapot Redefined, Mobilia Gallery (2012).
New Work Artist, AKAR Art | Design | Architecture (2012).
Big Fish, Small Pot V International Exhibition, TX (2012).
By Any Means Necessary, Solo BFA Exhibition, University of Iowa (2012).

Teaching Experience/Visiting Artist
The Art and Craft of Trompe L’oeil, University of Oklahoma (2017)
Visiting Artist Demo and Lecture, Northwest Missouri State University (2017)
Graduate Instructor, Ceramics I, University of Kansas (2012-2015)

SELECTED AWARDS/ RECOGNITIONS
Honors in Studio Arts, University of Kansas (2015)
NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition, Earth/Energy, Houston, TX
Ceramics Art and Perception Technical Merit Award
3rd Place Overall Graduate
Recipient, Travel Award, University of Kansas SOTA Travel Grant (2012-2015)
Big Fish, Small Pot V International Exhibition (2012), Honorable Mention
It’s Only Clay National Juried Ceramics Competition and Exhibition (2012), 2nd Place Overall

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