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Meet Annie Mitchell of Anniem in Mar Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie Mitchell.

Annie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a small child, I would make paper doll scenes and tape them to my big sister’s door when she was out on dates because I missed her so much. Her being nine years my senior, she left home for good when I was ten and I felt my first heartbreak. The next few years were some of my hardest. Feeling increasingly alone and misunderstood by my peers in the small town of Henryville, Indiana, I grew anxious and dissatisfied to the point where I took off at 14 and eventually found myself homeless on the streets of NY until finally, I had seen too much. I remember calling my best friend back in Indiana crying in the middle of the night; her talking me into coming home. Twenty-eight years in and she’s still my lighthouse.

I was 17 by the time I went home and had missed a year of school so I doubled up on my junior/senior year and ended up graduating from high school…miraculously…on time. I wrestled with serious depression off and on until my late twenties when I found rock climbing and realizing I had been coping with my anxiety my entire life in all the wrong ways, I began to truly heal and find a love for myself.

I found Light Art in much of the same way I’ve found most things in my life which is to say I pay very close attention to my inner turmoil and make sure I am always following my happiness. For me, I realize it is life or death that I do so. I’m very lucky and incredibly grateful to the Universe for shining light on my path and giving me the amazing friends, family and tools that I now possess that allow me to create and thrive.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being an Artist is hands-down the hardest path one can choose. It’s not simply business, it’s a drive that comes from your soul…it’s deeply personal. Attempting to monetize something that comes from that place is, at times, a heartbreaking task. We possess gifts that come from a very real and sensitive place and to be denied the opportunity to share those gifts because one can’t sustain life through that path is, in my opinion, one of humanities greatest mistakes. Art is our R&D department. It is exploring the unexplored and manifesting what we find in those dark corners. Art opens the mind to see beyond what is known and concrete and creates connections…with others, with our environment and with ourselves.

Choosing to be a professional Artist is not a smooth road. Every step is through quicksand. But it’s a quicksand that sparkles with ground up diamonds with a view of glittering galaxies and shooting stars like you’ve never seen and at the end is a unicorn just for you.

What else should we know?
As an interdisciplinary artist, my practice involves sculpture, digital processes and installation. In general, my work explores audiovisual brainwave entertainment and the role nature plays in human thriving. By drawing on research in neuroscience and bioecology, I create altered experiences in natural environments that bring humans into a meditative state of mind.

My current projects consider how we exist within a cacophony of stimuli and what that does to our overall health and happiness. Specifically, this has meant conducting research into sound and light pollution of modern life; and thinking about how nature and art can work together to bring us back into balance with the world around us.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Looking toward 2020, there are a few opportunities coming to fruition (fingers crossed) that I have long been dreaming of. Two in Alaska and another in upstate New York that will be a semi-permanent work.

In April, I’ll be in Alaska working with the Museum of Anchorage during a climate change symposium to create a light and sound experience at the museum. Teaming up with a local Sound Ecologist, we’ll work together to create a unique multi-channel soundscape comprised of native samples that will lull visitors into a meditative state. The second installment will be in the wilds of the Alaska countryside. I’ll team up with a local guide and hike to a remote location to install an off-grid experience. We’ll then release the coordinates of that piece to the public.

Late Summer will have me at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in upstate New York, where I will embed into 104 beautiful acres for two months of quiet reflection as a resident artist. I will spend my time exploring new ideas, expanding on my themes and finally creating a semi-permanent sculpture that will remain at the art park.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Drew Carolan (Artist portrait), Tom Clancey (Exhibit photography)

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