Daniel Mitchell

Daniel Mitchell was born October 12, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. He is an African American with a hint of Indian. His parents are Justine Pierson and James Mitchell. Daniel moved to Champaign, Illinois where he lived on Eads Street before he started high school in 1974. He came to Champaign because his stepfather got ill and wanted to make sure he recooperated. Daniel said, “It was uncommon because there wasn't gangs and people would speak to you as they walked passed which was very different than being in the city.”

The summer of 1978 had great music that was wholesome. He got contacted about the mural when he came back looking for employment to help pay for college. Daniel said, “The mural symbolized a rich history for African Americans.” Many people called it the “History Wall” and that wall served as a magnet to attract people to tell their life stories. He loved the mural because people appreciated and understood the reason it was done. His role in the mural was to bring 15 to 20 kids, mostly high schoolers to manage their personalities to create a precise piece of art.

He decided to be an artist in high school when his art teacher told him that he school major in some form of art. He had two mentors which were his mother and a college student who was his mentor for Upward Bound. In 1978, he created some clay installations for people that liked his art that he knew which made some money for you. Working with the mural project taught him how to be a “team player” and how to be flexible. He continued to make art, including pieces entitled Face the Nation and My Optical Illusion, as well as additional vases and clay work.

Daniel Mitchell Interview (July 1, 2010): Part 1

Daniel Mithell Interview (July 1, 2010): Part 2

Daniel Mitchell Interview (July 1, 2010): Part 3