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As an artist who has always had a strong fascination with light and colour, Mitchell Foley started out as a painter, specializing mid-career in Studio Glass and then Artworks Conservation and Archaeology. In 2000 he returned to his easel and oil paints having practised in a wide range of art and glass techniques including: painting, sculpture, glass blowing and Nuclear Glass.
As an internationally acclaimed Studio Glass Artist he was amongst the pioneers in that field winning the premier prize for Sculpture in the 1st International Exhibition and Competition of the Stained Glass Association of America, Corning Museum of Glass New York, 1987. The Cocaine Series and another body of work, his portraits, see a return of Foley as Artist after an international career as an Artworks Conservator and Research Archaeologist.
Foley trained both formally and informally in Australia and Northern Europe during the 70's and 80's. In the mid 70's he worked as an Interior Design Consultant and Gallery Director in Brisbane. He then spent two years in Europe, where he furthered his training in Glass Art and studied Ancient Glass Restoration Technique. Returning to Australia in 1980, he established the Stained Glass Atelier in Sydney; Foley's work has included lecturing, conservation, consultancy work and artist in residency posts.
Mitchell Foley's Cocaine Series is a modern, innovative, artistic expression on a controversial and pressing Societal Issue. A topical series of paintings dealing with Drug Use in Society and utilizing contrapuntal Abstract Expressionism in a manner that is bound to give rise to the discussion that Foley aims at, his work is undeniably fresh whilst still speaking in an artistic language that has its roots in the well established Art of Peggy Guggenheim's mid Twentieth Century. "Ideally, I envisage" says Foley, "that these paintings hang in family homes where the questions they will raise are most pertinent. Drug use is an individual (rather than media) issue and I believe that the real answers that we (Society) need will be generated from the building blocks of our society, that is to say from within the family".
1994: - Who's Who in Contemporary Glass Art, (Worldwide) 1st Edition, Joachim Waldrich Verlag, Munchen Germany. - John Herbert Award for Excellence in Heritage Conservation Works (by assn with Buchanan Architects and The National Trust of Australia), St Paul's Anglican Church, Ipswich. - Ipswich City Council Awards for Excellence in Heritage Conservation for St. Paul's Anglican Church, Ipswich.
1992: - Premiers Special Award for Excellence in Art, State Premiers Department Queensland.
1990: - Man of the Year, 1990: American Biographical Institute, NC USA.
1989: - Distinguished Leadership Award with citation for Research and Development in Ancient Glass Restoration, American Biographical Institute, USA.
1988: - Meritous listing, Who's Who in Australia and the Far East, 1st Edition, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge UK.
1987: - First Prize, "Best Glass Sculpture Award", The Stained Glass Assn of America's 1st International Exhibition and Competition, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY USA .
Selected Exhibitions: - Beaver Galleries, Canberra Australia - Metro Arts, Brisbane AU - World Expo '88, Brisbane Australia - Brisbane City Art Gallery AU - Hyatt Regency, Coolum Australia - Sheraton Mirage Hotel, Gold Coast Australia - Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Australia - Myer Centre, Brisbane AU - Virtue Gallery, Brisbane AU - Crafts Council of Queensland AU - Corning Museum of Glass, New York USA - Glass Artist's Gallery, Sydney Australia - Parliament House, Brisbane AU - Jam Factory, Adelaide AU - Young Australians in Glass; Germany, France (Chartres Cathedral), Switzerland, Australia
Memberships past and present: - Glass-en-Lood Zetter's Guild, Holland - Auz Glass, Australia - Board Member Crafts Council of Queensland - Steering Com, Brisbane Crafts Training Centre - Management Committee, Riverside Craft Mkt - ICOMOS Australia - Fusions: Australian Clay & Glass Artists - Artworkers.org