The Essence of Block Island in Oil Paint

Joel Mitnick at Spring Street Gallery
Fri, 09/16/2022 - 3:15pm

The historic Spring Street Gallery will showcase scenes of Block Island and other work by guest artist Joel Mitnick. The exhibit, on display from Sept. 17 to Sept. 30, will feature landscape, still life, and portraiture, all oil on canvas. Meet the artist at the opening reception, Saturday, Sept 17, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The paintings on view are realistic portrayals of life on Block Island along with many additions from his collection. Included is a vista of Block Island’s Coast Guard station from Champlin Road, the reflection of a weathered rowboat on Great Salt Pond bathed in summer’s morning light, and a landscape with familiar sandy paths luring swimmers to the sea, along with many other paintings bringing back lasting memories of summers past.
Mitnick and his family have summered on Block Island for the past 30 years.
For this show, his inspiration comes from the shadows, cloud formations, sea grass, and illuminations indigenous to the island. A realist painter, Mitnick weaves a common thread throughout his work, no matter the
subject, as he uses light, shadow, and correct values to show form. The artist is known for his approach that uses close observation of his subject matter, culminating in realistic representational paintings. “I am constantly challenged by bringing the character, essence, and likeness of each subject to life in an uncomplicated style. I find this extraordinarily stimulating and rewarding,” said Mitnick.
Hailing from a family of artists, Mitnick’s talent was nurtured from childhood by his father, sister, and brother as well as teachers who praised his work at a young age. He studied at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y. and received a BFA in Advertising Design and Visual Communications. As an adjunct professor at Pratt, teaching graphic design and visual communication, he simultaneously opened Joel Mitnick Design, Inc., Englewood, N.J., a full-service graphic design studio where he created logos, designs, and visual materials for clients for 40 years.
Oil painting has always played a big part in Mitnick’s life. In the last 10 years he pursued his passion at the Art Students’ League, New York City, where he was the recipient of several acclaimed “Red Dot” awards for his excellence in portraiture.
He believes “that nothing captures the true essence of an individual as deeply and classically as a hand-painted portrait.” He has found inspiration from artists including Rembrandt and John Singer Sargent, who also used light and shadow to establish representational paintings.
Besides showing his work at the Spring Street Gallery, Mitnick is currently an active member and instructor at the Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, N.J., and the Art Center of Northern New Jersey. In addition, he offers Zoom classes in the art of still life painting. He also continues to do commissioned portraiture. Mitnick resides in Haworth, N.J. with his wife Karen and dogs Shelby and Yipi.
To see more of Joel’s artwork, visit or email: