A.R. Mitchell Museum Spring Newsletter

A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art
Spring Newsletter

“If I merely break a trail for others who will surpass me I will be satisfied, and maybe the footprints of the one who showed them the way need not be rubbed out entirely.” – A.R.M.

Introducing Brandon Rickett

Brandon Rickett came to us after completing his MA in Curating and Collections from the Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts, London. He has experience in curating and exhibition coordinating along with skills in research, exhibit-making and installation, all of which the museum needed.

We thought he was a great fit. Brandon is working on a new exhibit, Sacred Art, showcasing our Santos collection. The exhibit will be on permanent display on the mezzanine level as soon as we are allowed to re-open. He is working on a traveling exhibit of Mitchell’s work and a new photographic book of Mitchell works. Brandon is also working on a brand new, never been seen exhibit based on Mitchell still life drawings. Brandon started in early January and will be with us until June. We secured a grant from the American Press foundation to pay his rent in the Toltec Loft building just two blocks from the museum.


June of 2019 was a big month. We opened Mitchell, a Colorful Life Exhibit. We painted the first floor a bold blue and hung 105 paintings. We brought up new illustrations, landscapes, and adobe paintings that had been down in the collections room for years. We were also awarded a monthly grant from the Trinidad Tourism Board to be used for advertising outside of Trinidad.

July brought us beautiful weather for our annual Quick Draw. We had 12 artists painting on the lawn of the Trinidad History Museum. Every painting sold with 70% going to the artists and 30% benefiting the museum. The “tourism season” brought us more visitors than we have seen in years. We had over 4,000 visitors in 2019.

November brought the Hindman Auction, Art of the American West. We decided that in order to get Mitchell’s name back out there, we needed to get his art back out there. Every Mitchell painting brought a price over the estimated value. The proceeds will be used for the museum and maintenance of the collection. We have started to put that money to work by upgrading the security system, and it is our goal to get climate control in the Collection Room by then end of 2020. Inquiries into the Museum have increased. People are visiting the museum simply because they heard of Mitchell at the auction.

On November 30 we hosted our annual Winter Art Show reception. Thirteen artists exhibited from the end of November through February.

We anticipated 2020 to be a record year. Ten events were scheduled from weddings and fundraisers to the annual Trinidad Poetry Festival and Evergreen Natural Resources Christmas Party. Sadly, but not surprising, all events scheduled from April to June have been cancelled. We are hoping to reschedule once the current Covid-19 restrictions have lifted. These cancellations have dealt a big blow to the budget and our operating costs, but on the upside have allowed us to complete many upgrades. We are working on a plan for a bathroom remodel with architect Martha Hill. We have had the floors waxed and buffed, completed a catering kitchen by expanding the existing small kitchen area on the mezzanine level, and we are finishing painting on the second floor. Provided the shut-down does not last too long, we hope to be able to weather the storm.

Some highlights of our year were being named one of the top 10 Western Museums by True West Magazine, featured in Western Art Collector magazine, and being mentioned along with greats like Fredrick Remington and Maynard Dixon in True West magazine.

Our annual Quick Draw is scheduled for June 20, 2020. We have not cancelled it yet, but the Trinidad History Museum will be closed so it will be held at a new location. Stay tuned for updates on the Quick Draw.

Tomorrow, May 15 at 6 pm, we will be part of the Trinidad Historic Main Street Facebook Cash Mob. There will be a Facebook Live “sale” from the museum gift shop. Tune in to purchase one of a kind art, jewelry, and other interesting items to benefit the museum. Log in to Facebook and go to the Trinidad Historic Main Street page to participate.

On behalf of myself and the board we hope that all of you “Friends of the Mitch” are staying safe and healthy. Expect newsletters such as this quarterly as we aim to increase awareness, participation and connection. You may have questions or comments and if so, please send to the email address listed below. You can also reach out by phone. We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you! Until next time…

Thank you,
Allyson Sheumaker
Executive Director
A. R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art


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