Curtis Mitchell Named Juliana James Native American Visiting Scholar

April 5, 2017
The artist and humanitarian will speak with the campus community and paint a series of works honoring our location on Cayuga Nation Territory.
portrait of Mitchell with his paintings of people, eagles, a football player and a turtle

Curtis E. Mitchell has joined the Wells community as Juliana James Native American Visiting Scholar. Throughout the week of April 3 in the Campbell Fine arts Building, Curtis will be painting a series of works that honor our unique location on Cayuga Nation Territory. Students, faculty and staff will have opportunities to meet and talk with Curtis about this project and his work as an artist.

Owner and operator at CEM Art n Design, Curtis is a Mohawk from Akwesasne. He began painting in 2001, and since 2009 has focused on humanitarian work, nation building and community outreach. Curtis has traveled across the country and to his neighboring Mohawk communities to extend his services to various beneficiaries and charity recipients alike. He is known for his philanthropic efforts throughout Iroquois country.

Curtis graduated with an associate's degree in Fine Art from St. Lawrence College in 2011. He has since used his knowledge and skills to expand his repertoire as an artist through demonstration, teaching, and charity fundraising. He recently took up the practice of Black Ash Basketry, which has been a tradition in his family and community for generations.

Following his time as Artist in Residence at Wells, Curtis plans on expanding the project for the Cayuga Nation to the other Haudenosaunee Nations (Oneida, Tuscarora, Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca) for the purpose of portraying traditional Haudenosaunee government and political systems of the early League of the Iroquois.

Many people made this community-based project possible, and Wells would like to thank Dan Hill, Heron Clan, Cayuga Nation; Latesha Fussell, Director of Campus Life for Diversity and Inclusion; Katie Waugh, Assistant Professor of Studio Art; Carol Henderson, Library Director; the Student Committee on Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence; Brian Brown, John Wade, Art Fritz and Doug Whaley from Buildings and Grounds; The Juliana James Native American Visiting Scholar Funds; the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program at Wells College; and Vic Muñoz, FNIS coordinator, Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies and coordinator of this project.

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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