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Art As Experience

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Black Barrier, 24in x 18in, Alkyd-on-panel, 2010

Black Barrier, 24in x 18in, Alkyd-on-panel, 2010

Multiplex, 40in x 32in, Alkyd on panel 2009

Multiplex, 40in x 32in, Alkyd on panel 2009

Strange Fruit, 48 x 40, Alkyd on panel, 2009

Strange Fruit, 48 x 40, Alkyd on panel, 2009

Garry Mitchell lives about five miles from me in North Yarmouth, Maine, yet for some reason I have never gotten around to taking him or his wife, writer Debra Spark, up on invitations to visit his studio. I have, however, admired Mitchell’s work from afar. I have seen it online, here in town at a little local art center, at ICON Contemporary Art in Brunswick, and in group shows around the state.

Garry Mitchell teaches at Colby College in Waterville and now (through April 30), the Colby College Museum of Art is featuring Garry Mitchell: New Work on the lower level of its Jette Galleries. What the elegant abstract paintings in the Colby show will reveal to anyone who sees them is that Mitchell is a fine, methodical painter for whom art is as much an experience unto itself as a means of expression.

A graduate of the University of Hawaii (BFA ’78) and Pratt Institute (MFA ’82), Mitchell has been living and working in Maine for more than a decade now, but his resum

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