Artists with local ties team up for Butler Art Center exhibit
Leah Mitchell made her first trip to Butler County this November to open her art exhibit at the Butler Art Center, but her roots in the county run deep.
The Illinois-native is a fourth-generation artist whose great-grandmother is renowned Butler portrait artist Evelyn Offut Nicholas. Mitchell's grandmother, great aunt and aunt are also artists from the county.
Mitchell's classical realist paintings and drawings are being exhibited at the Butler Art Center until Friday as part of 2 Person Show, which also features Butler artist David Todd's mixed media works.
“The contrast is very interesting,” said Jane Rittelman, Mitchell's great aunt and Associated Artists of Butler County board member.
Todd teaches painting, drawing and sculpture at Butler County Community College and Penn State's Beaver Campus.
“He's much more abstract, more Jackson Pollock-type work,” Rittelman said.
Mitchell, who lives in Aurora, Ill., with her husband and two children, has 42 paintings and drawings in the gallery.
The exhibit represents her complete body of work over the past four years.
Her paintings harken back to the classic representational style of 19th century artists. Mitchell said she's primarily drawn to working with people.
“I really think that the human figure, the human face, has a great opportunity for story-telling and an emotive connection with both myself and the viewer,” Mitchell said.
“When you're looking at a painting of a person, there's a greater connection and a greater empathy. And that's what I'm looking for in my work, to pull out that connection.”
Although her great-grandmother died when she was young, Mitchell learned about her talented ancestor through family stories and seeing her artwork, “which is everywhere in my grandmother's house and my aunt's house,” she said.
“They'd talk about her easel in the kitchen and painting and doing all of these things,” Mitchell said.
“As a small child, I was thinking about this person who was so amazing and was able to do all these things while raising her children.”
Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police officer reported wounded in New Florence; suspect at-large
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- Steelers find success vs. NFC
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Funding highway bill atop Rep. Shuster’s agenda
- Thomas Jefferson captures 6th WPIAL title
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Steelers notebook: Brown downplays possible matchup against Seahawks’ Sherman
- Robert Morris defeats Mississippi Valley State for 1st victory of season