Atlanta based artist and former Berry College student, Linda Mitchell, is exhibiting 25 mixed media paintings and an installation at downtown Rome’s new art gallery, Kingfisher Art Co., through February 12.

Mitchell’s layered, richly colored paintings are populated by real and imagined animals who are often stand-ins for human beings and their inner lives.

Kingfisher is open Thursday-Saturday noon to 6 p.m., and Wednesdays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and by appointment.

Mitchell combines painted and photographic images, fabric, wood, safety glass, and found objects in works that plunge the viewer into dream-like scenarios. In her highly textured paintings she uses objects and images of personal significance, such as fabric from her childhood home, her son’s drawings, and her pet dogs. Mitchell’s work looks both inward, expressing the artist’s hopes and fears, and outward, embracing the world in its beauty and environmental damage.

In her work, Mitchell explores themes of the self and close relationships, the melding of past and present, loss and memory.

In the paintings, animals act out human dramas of loss, searching, and even transcendence. The beautiful, floating landscapes are drenched in the feeling that a way of life and the land itself may be in the process of vanishing. The African animals that appear in Mitchell’s recent work similarly suggest the threat of environmental degradation.

Mitchell has described her process as intuitive, with a kind of visual poetry emerging from the layering of images and materials. Combining paint, images, words, and objects, a piece develops in ways that are often surprising and in Mitchell’s words it, “... inevitably ends up that a piece is about something with which I am dealing, thinking about, or problems I am working through in life.”

Linda Mitchell has exhibited her paintings extensively with solo exhibitions in a variety of galleries across the country.

Kingfisher Art Co. is located at 7 E. 2nd Ave.

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