Bio CV AS
“Each of us as visual artists is looking for a way to express ourselves in a manner that is unique and ownable. What I saw was a technique that was completely original, using the materials in a new and inventive way, and was on top of all of that, extremely pleasant to look at. The textures were like eye-candy and I kept coming back to it to better understand what Mitchell had created. I love it!”Brian Smith, AOCA, Honorary Drawing Master
Canadian Contemporary Paper Artist Col Mitchell is a Fine Art Maker working from the Heart of Muskoka. Through her original technique of pen & ink on sculpted paper she fluidly melds texture with intricately layered lines of colour, creating magical impressions of the beauty and mystery of nature and wildlife.
Based on her childhood experiences in Algonquin Park Col Mitchell’s art reflects the process of viewing and experiencing nature as she remembers it: That random pendulum of intensity and tranquility, the shape, colour, line, and texture she associates with nature’s wonders, beauty and complexity coloured by an adult’s remembrance of childhood imagination and fancy. When expressed through her distinctive technique these reimaginings resolve into works as individual as a fingerprint of those experiences.
An award winning contemporary paper artist Mitchell’s work has featured in Times Square NYC; the 2010 G8/G20 Summit Media Centre, Toronto; online & print magazines; art publications; popular art blogs; and juried global exhibitions.
Col Mitchell operates a working studio & boutique in the historic Clock Tower building in the core of downtown Bracebridge, Ontario. Her originals are showcased along with home decor, jewellery, apparel, accessories, cards, limited edition Giclée reproductions, and gifts inspired by select original works
Enchanted, I began experimenting with subject matter — from Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker face to a seven foot tall tree trunk, and a curated 8 foot by 6 foot twelve paneled themed exhibition piece. I explored, and continue to explore, my limitations working with pen nibs and their gravity dependant dipping inks, and how different papers influenced the outcome. It wasn’t long before I realized I needed to identify which elements of my exploration could define a technique.
Within my technique it was four years before I could form my smallest bird of three inches, and five years before I attempted a furred animal — a piece that went on to win an award.
In my fifth year I also began exploring how I fit into this dance of mediums. For every piece, before the pen and ink work begins, the interaction of the materials is a source of inspiration, but what also pushes my pen? The final pen and ink stage is especially meditative, and it is there that I found my answers.
It is my memories and my experiences I reach for when art making. Specifically, the summers I spent immersed in the magnificent natural surroundings of Algonquin Park, where the too few amenities of the cottage my grandfather built on Smoke Lake in 1931 meant nature was a strong presence, very much “in my face.” No electricity, and therefore no television, Gameboys or iPhones meant imagination was King. My siblings and I planned our entertainment, invented games played on both land and water. We spent time still and enveloped in lush expansive views, or crouched in intense contemplation of tiny life forms or fauna; tickled or bitten by insects, entranced or startled by sound, buffeted or soothed by wind, warmed or burned by sun.
My art reflects my process of viewing and experiencing nature as I remember it, that random pendulum of intensity and tranquility, the shape, colour, line, and texture I associate with nature’s wonders, beauty and complexity . . . coloured by an adult’s remembrance of childhood imagination and fancy.
2016 Best in Show, People’s Choice Award, Muskoka Arts and Crafts 39th Annual Spring Members’ Show
2016 Excellence in Mixed Media, Judges award, Muskoka Arts and Crafts 39th Annual Spring Members’ Show
2015 Best in Show, People’s Choice Award, Muskoka Arts and Crafts 38th Annual Spring Members’ Show
2015 Excellence in Mixed Media, Judges award, Muskoka Arts and Crafts 38th Annual Spring Members’ Show
2014 Best in Show, People’s Choice Award, Muskoka Arts and Crafts 37th Annual Spring Members’ Show
2013 Special Merit, Light Space & Time Online Gallery exhibition “Animals” for “Kit”
2013 Special Recognition, Painting and Other Category, Light Space & Time Online Gallery exhibition “Animals” for “The Raven’s Mirror”
2012 Best in Show, Doug Gatcke Award Members’ Choice, Muskoka Arts and Crafts 35th Annual Spring Members’ Show
2012 Judges Award of Excellence Best in Theme 2D, Huntsville Art Society
2012 Honourable Mention, Algonquin Outfitters Art Contest
2010 Judges Award of Excellence in Mixed Media, Muskoka Arts and Crafts
2009 Best in Show, June Best Memorial Award, Member’s Choice, Huntsville Art Society
2009 Judges Award of Excellence Best in Theme Over All, Huntsville Art Society
2012 – March 23 – Muskoka Technology Achievement Awards – Nomination for Innovative Use of Technology for Innovation, Digital Inclusion, Marketing and Advocacy
2010 – YWCA Woman of Distinction Awards – Nomination for Arts, Culture and Creative Energy
2016 Best of Bracebridge, BIA Summer brochure – image
2014 Mixed Media Magazine 2013, pgs 3, 47, 55 (one page feature), 74, The Art of Business Issue 13, Editor Luisa Nims
2014 Diva Mystic Magazine May/June 2013, pgs 3-8, 103-108, Working Girl Issue, Editor Romy Maillard
2013 The Artist of Muskoka: Contemporary artists wild with passion (book) 2013 by Andrea Hillo.
2013 Muskoka Magazine May 2013, pg 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, Discovery Through Play
2012 Still Point Arts Quarterly, Fall Issue No. 7 – Featured Gallery Exhibition Elements of Art: Texture
2011 Muskoka Life November/December – From tree to paper and back again
2010 Beyond the City May/June – The ABCs of ATCs: Artist trading cards go global.
2009 Muskoka Visitor Guide, publication
2009 Winter Issue; Beyond The City’s “The Last Word”
2015 June 26-July 18; Look Again: Perception, Imagination & Nature’s Magic, Solo Exhibition, Chapel Gallery, Bracebridge, ON
2012 June 8-10; Col Mitchell: Contemporary Paper Artist, Solo Exhibition, Claustro Studios & Gallery, Midland, ON
2012 May 5; Crush On Spring, Solo Show & Sale, 25 Briscoe St. E., London, ON
2011 October 1- December 1; Out of Trees, Solo Exhibition, The Framing Place and Gallery, Huntsville, ON
G8 | G20 Summit
2010 July 24- August 29; Eight Back From The Lake Exhibition Group Exhibition curated by Suzann Greenaway, The Art Space Gallery•Workshops, Huntsville
2010 June 26; Muskoka Tourism’s G8/G20 Muskoka Corridor, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto
2010 June 18-27; Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce G8 Exhibit, Algonquin Theatre, Huntsville
2010 Jan 30; Muskoka Tourism’s Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce G8 Media Familiarization Tour Exhibit, Mark O’Meara Club House, Huntsville
2016 June; Light Space & Time juried Online Gallery group exhibition “Animals”
2014 July 31; SEE | ME Takes Times Square, See | Me digital group exhibition Times Square NYC
2013 Oct; Light Space & Time juried Online Gallery group exhibition “Animals”
2012 Aug 1 – Nov 9; Elements of Art: Texture, Still Point Art Gallery, juried online group exhibition
Public Exhibit Spaces| Installation Work
2016 July 6 – Nov 1; Muskoka Arts & Crafts Member Exhibit, juried, Town of Bracebridge Exhibition Hall, Bracebridge
2016 Aug 18 – Nov 14; Muskoka Arts & Crafts Member Exhibit, juried, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2016 Feb 17 – May 17; Huntsville Art Society Member Exhibit, juried, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2015 Feb 20 – May 18; Muskoka Arts & Crafts Member Exhibit, juried, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2014 Aug 14 – Nov 7; Huntsville Art Society Member Exhibit, juried, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2012 – 2013 Oct 17 – Feb 14 2013; Huntsville Art Society Member Exhibit, juried, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2012 June 30 – Oct 14; Muskoka Arts & Crafts Member Exhibit, juried, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2012 July; A Bloomin’ Palette for Tom Thomson, Nuit Blanche North, Interactive public installation, Huntsville
2012 March 1 – Sept 1; Barrie Spring Art Tour Banner Project, downtown Barrie
2012 February; Selections from the Barrie Spring Art Tour, Rotunda, Barrie City Hall, Barrie
2010 June 30 – Sept 20; Sense of Place, Group Exhibition curated by Mary Rashleigh, Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall, Huntsville
2011 February 18; Something Along Those Lines, Group Exhibition, Bohemian Cafe & Gallery opening exhibition, Bracebridge
2009 Sept 3-15; Second Chances Exhibition, Group Exhibition, Six Degrees Gallery, Bracebridge
2009 June 25- July7; Heroes and Villains, Group Exhibition, Six Degrees Gallery, Bracebridge
2009 June 12- 23; Trees Rocks Water, Group Exhibition, Six Degrees Gallery, Bracebridge
2008 Aug; Andersen, Fox, Mitchell Exhibition, Group Exhibition, Windermere
2015 April 25 – April 26; Barrie Spring Art Tour, Juried studio tour, guest artist The Creative Space, Dunlop St., Barrie
2014 June 22 – 23; Coldwater and Area Studio Tour, juried studio tour, guest artist for Pam
2013 April 27 – April 28; Barrie Spring Art Tour, juried studio tour, guest artist forPauline Bradshaw, Veni Vidi Studio, 75 Collier St., Barrie
2012 August 18-19; Artists Of The Limberlost Tour, guest artist for Brenda Wainman Goulet, Huntsville/Lake of Bays
2012 April 27 – April 29; Barrie Spring Art Tour, juried studio tour, guest artist for Yvette Miller, 172 Blake St., Barrie
2011 August 13-14; Artists Of The Limberlost Tour, guest artist for Brenda Wainman Goulet, Huntsville/Lake of Bays
Cable TV Programs| Interviews
2012 September 18-19; Artifacts; CogecoTV, Studio interview for
2012 April 24; Rogers’s Daytime TV, Live demonstration/interview, Barrie
2011 – 2008: Projects under title of President of Huntsville Art Society, Inc.:
- 2011 July- Project Coordinator: The Pachter Factor
Art Exhibition by Contemporary Canadian Icon Charles Pachter, July 9 to July 31-2011Nuit Blanche North Extravaganza where everyone will walk the paparazzi lined red carpetPachter Projection on one exterior entrance wall, a slide show of selected worksProjection Injection Live Feed of everyone’s red carpet arrival at THE ART SPACE projected onto the opposite exterior entrance wall within selected projected images of Pachter’s paintings.Photo Op Pachter’s Limo will remain parked at the entrance to the red carpet for people to have their own limo exit photo op.Team members: Connie Bertram, Kate Brown, Vicki Dodds, Brenda Wainman Goulet, Carolyne Wagland
- 2010 – Originator and curator of ArtSHIFT
An exhibition which partnered 5 artists with 5 local industries to explore creativity and innovation in local industry, and showcased works which incorporate those concepts, utilizing related raw materials supplied by each local industry sponsor.Conceptualized and curated by Col Mitchell, and inspired by Six Degrees Gallery presentations by Don Skinner, ArtShift was developed in partnership with Creative paths, a grassroots community arts education initiative led by Carolyne Wagland, whose focus is to introduce high school students to creative and innovative careers in Muskoka, and was created specifically for the creativity and innovation symposium CreativeSHIFT held at the Rene Caisse Theatre & Sportsplex, Friday, October 29 2010. ArtSHIFT reopened at The Art Space Gallery Nov 5 2010.
- 2010 – ArtShift video
- 2010 – Establishment of The Art Space: Gallery • Workshops
Huntsville’s first contemporary art gallery venue which offers exhibitions and workshops to the public.
- 2010 – 2009 – Co-originator of Creativation: Art, Kids, Community 2009/10
A new pilot program offering innovative and challenging programs and activities that support and enhance the Ministry of Education’s Visual Arts Curriculum, as well as expose students to the vast range of creative experiences and visual culture available to them in their local and regional community. This pilot project is a model designed for potential use both for other sectors within Muskoka and for other Ontario communities. www.artkidscommunity.com
- 2010 – Initiated the establishment of the Town of Huntsville’s Arts Placement Working Committee
A committee formed to shape policy on art in public spaces and buildings in the municipality of Huntsville, and which select and curate local art in the new Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall.
- 2010 – 2009 – Initiated and implemented the HAS Awareness Campaign
The makeover and promotion of the Huntsville Art Crowd as the Huntsville Art Society, a crucial step in a major campaign to increase community awareness of the existing professional organization and its endeavors to advance the status of the visual arts within the community, contribute to local cultural development, and to add value to the existing business community and local economy
- 2009 – Creator of the HAS Themed Show and Sale
An annual member’s show and sale that includes a different themed exhibit each year
- 2009 – 2008 – Produced additional web based venues to support and promote Huntsville Art Society members, positively effecting membership numbers, interest by presenters and media groups. 2008/09
- I went “trick or treating” until I was 18. Generally, I made my own costumes. On my final door to door trek I was an Octopus. And although trick or treating was over for me, I continue to dress up
- I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 25
- I’ve climbed the CN Tower, the Statue of Liberty, The Tower of London, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sagrada Familia
- I homeschooled my two sons for eleven years
- I transformed an entire room in our first home into a Hogwarts inspired hangout: including faux-stone castle walls and floors, trompe l’oeil ceiling, faux stained glass windows, 7 secret hidings spaces including inside the walls, mosaic-ed baseboard heater, and modified furniture and fixtures to suit
- I hitch-hiked back to Canada from Ostend Belgium (Long story. Yes it’s possible.)
- I injured my knee (requiring surgery) in a Karate sparring match
- I have a fear of bears, spiders and sharks (If you know of a place by the ocean with neither bears, spiders or sharks, please email me!)
- I dream every night, and remember them
- I failed grade twelve ‘Art’ (oh the irony!) Even so, this did not stop me from being accepted into College . . . for fine arts.
Curious for more? Do check out what could happen If You Came for Tea . . .
“Col’s professional and volunteer contributions have changed the art community in Huntsville. Her vision, hard work and tenacity have contributed to the establishment of *The Art Space, an **exhibition hall in the Canada Summit Centre and a new program ***Creativation: Art, Kids, Community.” – YWCA Muskoka
*The Art Space Gallery | Workshops: Huntsville’s first contemporary art gallery venue which offers exhibitions and workshops to the public. **Following the establishment of a committee formed to shape policy on art in public spaces and buildings in the municipality of Huntsville, and which select and curate local art in the new Canada Summit Centre Exhibition Hall. ***Creativation: Art, Kids, Community: A new pilot program offering innovative and challenging programs and activities that support and enhance the Ministry of Education’s Visual Arts Curriculum, as well as expose students to the vast range of creative experiences and visual culture available to them in their local and regional community.