Art Within Reach
Dispersed throughout 417-land is a buzzing art scene that is constantly evolving and growing.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
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Artist and photographer, Joshmitchell.com. Photo by Kevin O'Riley
If you haven’t yet stopped by Josh Mitchell’s studio on the corner of Pickwick and Cherry in Springfield, you should. Just look for the slightly rusted classic car he has parked out front. Inside what used to be an old service station is Mitchell’s studio—he calls it “the think tank.” From floor to ceiling, his photographs clamber for attention. Near the front door hangs the photo of the maple tree he’s best known for. Farther down the wall hangs a print that has been warped and manipulated to create a 3D effect. Other prints sit propped on tables and in baskets. Looking around, it’s not at first clear that Mitchell is a photographer by trade. His works stray from traditional black and white portraits to obvious photographs. “I make photos that aren’t just images,” he explains. “These things already exist, and I’m creating an image out of them. It’s an ability to see something that’s hidden.” His technique is old-school in fashion with limited Photoshop involved. Sometimes he’ll cover a print with snow and let the image decay. Other times he’ll attack the print with sandpaper or acid and see what comes out. It’s his “music,” his jazz. There are no chords to follow. He’s just grooving. Some of his pieces are divided into different panels, and many are made by layering several images. Often, Mitchell layers two photos together to achieve one final image. It’s a long way from the commercial photography work he used to do for the likes of Lockheed-Martin, James Burrows, Coors Light and IBM, but this is Mitchell’s passion, or as he calls it, his “music.”