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Alumnus artist to present work at Downtown Gallery

The artist Mike Mitchell, aka mikewindy, has been known to equate his calling to that of an athlete. The physical exertion required to create a complicated sculpture or painting isnt all that different than the effort put forth by a baseball or basketball player.
The artist Mike Mitchell, aka mikewindy, has been known to equate his calling to that of an athlete. The physical exertion required to create a complicated sculpture or painting isn't all that different than the effort put forth by a baseball or basketball player.

“The moves I make in the studio often feel like the moves I make on a court,” he said in an artist's statement. “Performing/exhibiting in a square gallery or playing on a rectangular field. Letting the hammer do the work is much like letting the golf club swing itself. Babe Ruth and Pablo Picasso are twin giants separated at birth.”

Mitchell, a Florida resident, serves as the site director of the O.U.R. 21st Century Community Learning Center and an adjunct art professor at Flagler College, but years ago, he earned his initial Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Austin Peay State University.

He went on to receive an M.F.A. from the University of Memphis, but next month he'll return to Clarksville to exhibit his work in a new show, “Rise and Fall,” at the Austin Peay Downtown Gallery. The show runs from Feb. 4 — 27, with an opening night reception from 5 to 8 p.m. to coincide with the area's First Thursday Art Walk.

Last year, the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts leased a building in downtown Clarksville to provide gallery space for APSU alumni and faculty. Mitchell, who has exhibited his work around the globe and produced public art installations as far away as the Philippines and Norway, will display an eclectic mix of work that often pays tribute to his muse, Windy Mitchell.

“My art is about being in love with my wife,” he wrote. “It's right there in how I sign it. mikewindy. My first name conjoined with hers.”

The show will also feature work by Brotherhood of the Harvest, a collaborative sculpture/performance art duo made up of Mitchell and Steve “Uncle Stevo” Marrazzo.

The gallery, located at 116 Strawberry Alley in downtown Clarksville, is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information on this space or the faculty exhibit, contact Gregg Schlanger at 931-221-7789 or schlangerg@apsu.edu. -- Charles Booth