PSU Studio MFA Remote Artist Talks hosts a presentation by Jeffry Mitchell
Join us on our Youtube Channel
Jeffry Mitchell’s primary medium is ceramic and he is well versed in its traditions around the globe (references to Early American glazes, Pennsylvania Dutch pickle jars, asymmetrical Japanese aesthetic decisions, and Chinese Foo Dogs abound). Mitchell takes a very direct approach to his work, often eschewing refinements that commonly accompany many ceramic processes. The resulting pieces radiate an exuberant, unbridled immediacy. He feels that this unfettered approach is essentially relatable to our shared human experience. To explain this idea Mitchell talks about a fundamental familiarity with clay that we all carry with us from our formative years. Perhaps we came to it through playing as children making mud pies or maybe it was making pinch pots in elementary school. Regardless, he feels that clay is a material that is universally relatable at a fundamental level. The imagery that he uses is also very accessible. Bears, elefants (he prefers ‘f’ to ‘ph’), bunnies, and flowers appear over and over in his work. Though they can definitely be related to his own personal story, he feels that these too spring from an early and universally familiar place. Throughout the work, Mitchell seeks to tap into and broadcast a sense of vitality whether it be joyful or colored with more a complex mix of emotions. This throughline can be seen in the thick, dripping glazes, the unabashed appropriation of decorative motifs and an unmistakeable suffusion of playfulness.
Notable solo exhibitions of Mitchell’s work include: Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell, 2012-2013, Henry Art Gallery; Some Things and Their Shadows, 2009, Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA; Shiny Happy Pretty (with Tina Hoggatt), 2008, Missoula Art Museum; Hanabuki, 2001, Henry Art Gallery; My Spirit, 1992, New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY; and Documents Northwest: The Poncho Series, 1990, Seattle Art Museum.
Mitchell’s work can be found in numerous private and public collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Philadelphia Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Harvard University), Honolulu Museum of Art, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Portland Art Museum.
The StudioMFA Remote Artist Talks Series brings together artists, curators and critics from a variety of disciplines to explore the subjects of their work before a live audience via Youtube Livestream. This series is sponsored by generous contributions from the Windgate Foundation and the DePreist Professorship Fund by the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.