The first public art museum founded in the Western United States, the Crocker Art Museum was established in 1885 and is now one of the leading art museums in California. The Crocker serves as the primary regional resource for the study and appreciation of fine art. The Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions and programs to complement its collections of Californian art, works on paper, European art, international ceramics, photography, Asian art, and African and Oceanic art. The Crocker Art Museum is the only museum in the Sacramento region accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), a recognition given to less than 800 of the nation’s 17,500 museums. AAM accreditation certifies that a museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly, and provides quality service to the public.
Identifying himself as a “gay folk artist,” Jeffry Mitchell creates work that deals largely with dualities. Using a variety of materials and methods, including ceramics, printmaking, and drawing, Mitchell manages to juxtapose seemingly disparate ideas into beautiful, fragile, and startling works. Using sweet, furry animals and soft, pastel colors, Mitchell transforms kitsch subject matter into a study of complex human experiences, including death, sex, religion, and loss. His work, at times appearing clumsy and hand-wrought, remains approachable and innocent, engaging viewers with his child-like curiosity and ungainly re-creations of recognized subjects. While highly sophisticated in his technique, Mitchell chooses to display vulnerability in his work, allowing both himself and his viewers to negotiate frightening realities by couching them in the comfort of the familiar and a faith in innocence. His work is suffused with a desire to welcome, accept, and even love the disconcerting and flawed aspects of ourselves and others.
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