Mitchell Spain:

Growing up on the family farm south of Des Moines, Iowa, Mitchell Spain spent much of his childhood rummaging through “junk” left in old barns.  Today, he is an accomplished artist crafting high-quality ceramic works using a trompe l’oeil technique that mimics these rustic findings.

Creating new uses for old things, practicing environmental friendliness, and designing sweet stuff for you all is his jam.

Mitchell Spain Artist Statement:

“Our ability as humans to consciously review our faults to prevent future mistakes is invaluable. So often, however, these former follies are disregarded. With my work, I explore my personal connection with the physical and social world in which I exist, utilizing imagery from the past to form an understanding of the present.
Using trompe l’oeil techniques in ceramics, I mask porcelain in a façade of rusty vessels, choosing to mimic forms that often hold strong stigmas in terms of their environmental impact. In turn, this creates a satirical element in that the contents are known to be harmful to humans and the environment, yet are containers created for function, specifically ingestion. Through this exploration of material and imagery I navigate the relationship of humanity and earth; most notably the uncertainty of the future if we continue our paths of destruction through careless consumption of resources and reckless regard for the environment.”

There is the moral of all human tales:
‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glory-when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption-barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but ONE page.
-Lord Byron

Master of Fine Arts, Ceramics, University of Kansas 2015
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ceramics, University of Iowa 2012

Selected Publications/Exhibitions
Objectus, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR 2016
International Cone Box Show, Kansas City, MO 2016
Generations, NCECA, Kansas City, MO 2016
Last Call, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN 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 Nov. 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 & 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

Selected Awards
NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition, Earth/Energy, Houston, TX
> Ceramics Art and Perception Technical Merit Award
> Third Place Overall Graduate
Big Fish, Small Pot International Exhibition
> Honorable Mention
It’s Only Clay National Juried Ceramics Competition and Exhibition
> Second Place Overall
>Margaret Harlow Collection Purchase Award

Teaching Experience
Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Kansas 2012-2015
> Ceramics I + Fundamentals of Ceramics
Peer Mentor, University of Iowa 2011-2012
> Ceramics I


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