Lesley Mitchell was educated in the fine arts at the PA Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She taught printmaking and works on paper classes at PAFA and other art centers and colleges. She was also trained as a dancer, specializing in social and traditional dance forms, which continually influences and informs her visual art.  A painter and printmaker since her adolescence, she has been making books for more than a decade. She shows her work regularly throughout the region. "Picturing a Dance", a solo show mounted for the first time in 2008, explores tango as a cultural movement. Some 2010-11 projects include: Quality of Movement, an installation of dance themed artists books at the SPACE & SEQUENCE juried show at the Free Library of Philadelphia. "Balada Para Un Loco II", her recently published artists book, will be interpreted in a new  choreography by Jumatatu Poe of Idiosyncrazy Productions as part of Philadelphia Center for the Book’s Bodies of Text performance series.

Lesley Mitchell


At the milonga

08.11.2010 to 19.11.2010

During her residency at ´ACE Lesley Mitchell made an artist's book on the subject of Tango. Though the original plan was to use various intaglio proccesses, in the end Lesley settled on photolithography.


A recurring theme in my artwork is dance, which reflects the way I live my life, divided and united by visual art and the art of dance. Dance is temporal, existing only in the moment of doing and visual art produces a physical object for long term contemplation, to state the case in the most extreme terms.

In my residency at ´ACE I'm investigating the subject of tango, which is a multimedia phenomenon containing music, dance, song and poetry. I'm concentrating on a few aspects in two different mediums. In a series of monotypes I'm working with the wordless communication that takes place between a pair of dancers.  

In an artists book made with photolithographs I'm looking into the culture of a tango event, where lines are blurred between performer and audience, and where the drama is constant and visible if one knows how to look.