Dennis Mitchell graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. He is a Professor of Art at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois. Mitchell received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Recent articles on his welded clay sculptures and smoke drawings have appeared in international periodicals such as "Ceramic Art and Perception," "Chicago Art Magazine," "Kerameiki Techni" and others.
Mitchell held recent solo exhibitions at the Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Iowa, Dubhe Carreno Gallery in Chicago, and the Clarke House Museum in Chicago, Illinois. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including Deloitte & Touche, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, State of Illinois, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and others. He is represented by the Dubhe Carreno Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.
On his "smoke drawings":
The following is an excerpt from a featured article in the Chicago Art Magazine from March, 2011, written by Victor M. Cassidy: "[Dennis] Mitchellâ€™s drawings contain dark, semi-abstract forms, generally transparent and often placed on top of each other so we see through the layers. Consistently organic, the forms have distinct outlines and can seem almost collaged onto the paper. There is no perspective in the drawings, which gives them a Chinese quality... Mitchell makes smoke drawings in two ways. By adjusting the oxygen/fuel mixture on a blowtorch, he produces abundant carbon smoke which he deposits onto paper much like a painter waving a brush. Heâ€™s also made smoke in a can, pressurized it, and sprayed it onto paper."