Dean Mitchell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1957 and raised in the small North Florida city of Quincy. His small-town upbringing and experiences of growing up in the rural panhandle have consistently shaped Mitchell’s artistic expression. Raised by his grandmother Marie while his mother Hazel attended college, Mitchell’s family had a small income. From the time he was 8, Mitchell went to work in the tobacco fields to help support his family.
Mitchell’s interest in art began as a young child when his grandmother gave him a paint-by-numbers set. Despite the misgivings of others, Mitchell’s interest in art grew over time, and around age 12 he began saving his lunch money to buy art supplies. After graduating from high school, Mitchell attended the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. While there, Mitchell began entering professional art competitions and juried art shows and earned money by selling his paintings. Entering as many shows as he could, Mitchell began to build his professional reputation while still in school. Mitchell set himself apart early with his exceptional work ethic, passion for learning, and genuine love for painting; qualities that fueled his growing success.
From his humble beginnings, Dean Mitchell has achieved remarkable success in an increasingly competitive art world. At twenty-seven, he became one of the youngest signature members of the American Watercolor Society, an organization that has been around for almost 150 years. His visible talent, clear vision and drive, and prolific creativity continue to set him apart from other contemporary artists. He has been awarded over 500 awards for his artwork and is in countless public and private collections. In 2017, Mitchell opened his own art gallery, the Marie Brooks Gallery, in his hometown of Quincy, Florida.