Dennis Lee Mitchell

With blowtorch in hand Dennis Lee Mitchell, then a ceramicist, was inspired by the soot left on a piece of paper that had been accidentally grazed. In the spirit of a true abstract expressionist, Mitchell represents himself on his own terms using the rarely executed medium of smoke even as he walks in the footsteps of Yves Klein and Claudio Parmiggiani, who both experimented with smoke. Unlike his predecessors, however, smoke has been his primary medium to date.
Dennis Lee Mitchell was born in the town of Larned, Kansas, where he spent much of his childhood exploring the outdoors. He attended Kansas State University at Fort Hays where he received a B.A., followed by an M.F.A in ceramics he earned from Arizona State University. He now lives in Alexandria, Virginia where he also has a 22,000 square foot studio in which to wield his fiery brush. Mitchell has received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. His work is held in many private and public collections including the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Clarke House Museum in Chicago, and others. He teaches at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.