“For me what makes a really great painting [is] one you want to visit over and over again, day after day,” said Charlie Mitchell, owner of the recently opened Mitchell Estate Gallery. A full-time electrician, Mitchell has been amassing art for his dream gallery for 27 years and now has finally unveiled it to the public. The space offers a quirky visual experience full of works by artists with lesser-known names and big talents.
Mitchell moved from L.A. to Santa Barbara nearly three decades ago and found his passion strengthened when he discovered myriad area artists who had talent for creating striking images. He decided right then that their works needed to be shared with the community. Mitchell explained that “seeing the artist’s work initially and imagining how I could present it” is one of his favorite aspects of being a gallery owner.
Mitchell is staunch in his opinions and doesn’t answer to anyone’s ideas of what art should be. “If I don’t love it, it doesn’t go on the wall. Period,” he stated. “I am not interested in names — I don’t really care who the artist is. I am interested in the images,” Mitchell continued, adding that he wishes for the customers coming into his space to find pieces that talk to them and interact with them visually. “They don’t have to want to have it; they don’t have to own it,” he said. “I am in the business of selling art, but it is not essential that they buy it. But I think the most important thing is to see if they love it or like it or dislike it.” Thanks to that philosophy, the Mitchell Estate Gallery offers a unique, genre-varied visit with something for every kind of art lover.
The warehouse gallery has three rooms: One has alternating exhibits — Leonardo Nuñez is on display now. The second is full of vivid colors, bold sculptures, and high ceilings. The third, the salón, is still under construction but is already ordained with hundreds of paintings that are sure to impress any viewer. The latest show features area artist Ed Moses. For more information, call (805) 568-1700 or see themitchellestate.com.