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Joan Mitchell’s Legacy

By Anne Ivers

Joan Mitchell was one of the worlds leading female Abstract Expressionist artists, (photos 1, and 2). Her legacy to the art world was not only her paintings but also the creation of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. The foundation fulfills her aim to aid and assist contemporary artists, as well as demonstrating that painting and art are significant cultural necessities. The Foundation which is based in New York also houses her archives, and is now undertaking the mammoth task of preparing the Catalogue Raisonné of her work.

The foundation helps established artists as well as those just starting out. Funding and grants are given for a whole range of projects. The Foundation’s Painters and Sculptors Grants Program works by a process of intensive nomination; Nominators are asked to recommend candidates who they feel deserve more recognition and would benefit from financial support. Twenty five grants of $25,000 are awarded each year;

A number of artists programs are also run by the Foundation, including free Saturday arts class with subscriptions dealt with on a first come, first come basis. The jumpstART Program, (photo 3), is a year long studio based intensive program for high school students with a demonstrated interest in the visual arts. The students involved in this program explore a variety of mediums.

The Creating a Living Legacy, CALL was designed by the Joan Mitchell Foundation to provide support to older artists in the domain of studio organisation and inventory management, (photo 4). The CALL database was created as a tool for older artists to keep accurate records of their work throughout their artistic career.

The Foundation also has an Emergency grants program which awards grants to individual artists who live in communities where they have been the victims of manmade or natural disasters.

A recent addition is the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans; this is an Artist Residency Center, (photo 5), which offers space for artists to create work in a contemplative environment.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation is a fantastic resource which enables artists in all stages of their career to explore their potential or existing artistic talent. It is also a fitting tribute to the artist Joan Mitchell.

Joan Mitchell Education

And Research Center

137 West 25 Street

New York


Photo Credits;

Photo One; Joan Mitchell 1962 -Joan Mitchell circa 1962, Photographer unknown.

Photo Two; Joan Mitchell at KUB -Installation view of paintings and archival materials, in ‘Joan Mitchell Retrospective. Her life and Paintings,’ at Kunsthaus Bregenz,Austria. Photo by Mark Tretter. Copyright, Courtesy of the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Kunsthaus Bregenz.

Photo Three; CUE-JumpstART-jacqueline-installing -Students installing jumpstART exhibition at CUE ART

Foundation, photo courtesy Joan Mitchell Foundation and CUE Art Foundation.

Photo Four; CALL-Cue-Exhibition - CALL Legacy Specialist Denise Schatz (left), discussing the experience of documenting and organizing CALL Artist. Mimi Smiths (center) work with Christie Mitchell during a CALL/VoCA artist talk. Photo Courtesy Joan Mitchell Foundation and VoCA.

Photo Five; Joan Mitchell Center –Tim Hursley -Joan Mitchell Center Artist Residences (left) and studios (right). Photo Copyright; Tim Hursley, courtesy Joan Mitchell Foundation and Lee Ledbetter and Associates.