Mindy Flexer is a professional realist painter, teaching artist, and activist. She loves sharing her passion for art with people of all ages and walks of life, and believes in the power of art to unite and transform people and communities. She is committed to being one of Northwest Philadelphia’s neighborhood artists, someone artists of every age can always return to for comradeship, encouragement, hope, and inspiration. Her home and studio houses Mindy Flexer Art School and is a hub for community art projects.
Mindy holds a BA from Oberlin College, a BFA from The University of the Arts, and an M.Ed. in Art Education from Tyler School of Art. She has studied extensively at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Studio Incamminati, and the Art Students League of New York. Mindy has exhibited her work at venues that include Woodmere Art Museum, Cerulean Arts, Art in City Hall, Artists’ House Gallery, and national painting festivals in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She is grateful to be part of the long tradition of artists teaching other artists, as they work together to create a just world.
I've discovered three things that always seem to be true. One is mystery: the world is unknowable. One is impermanence: everything is always changing. One is unity: every single thing is always related to every single other thing. Chasing these three truths has carried me from traditional realist painting to a magical realism that is grounded in both observation and invention. My paintings are about how our world is as much as how it looks.
My visual language of a seamless world of elements, people, animals, and place, is the language of interconnection. Like our world, every painting is a web of nesting, interlocking relationships, a unity in which nothing can be added or removed without changing everything. My current body of work is about the climate crisis. This emergency is the ultimate illustration of the powerful truth that we are all in it together-- and that we includes not just humanity, but every living thing on earth.
Our culture's denial of our interconnection with all life has resulted in the destruction of our planet. At the same time, realizing and acting on the truth of our interdependence gives us the opportunity to save our world. My job as a painter is to create paintings that speak about this existential dilemma in a language personal enough for people to hear it. My job as an art worker is to incite and participate in the great web of healing and collective action that I truly believe can save life on our planet.
One of the great miracles of existence is that everybody is different: we each have our own unique intelligence and perspective on the world. When we make art, we are creating and using whatever personal visual language we need in order to make what our eyes want to see. Each of us will have a different vision, and each of us will need different tools for realizing it.
I take every single person seriously as an artist, regardless of their experience, and work to assist each one along their own path. I give artists tools and support for developing their own ideas, and teach a range of technical skills for those who want them. This includes showing artists great artwork from the past and present that will be inspiring and illuminating for them. My goal is for each artist to experience that synergy in which their art knowledge, their personal ideas, and their means of expressing them grow together, so they can make the art that only they can make.
It is a joyful and sometimes arduous journey. One of my favorite teachers, Bill Daley, once said that making things is like jumping into an empty swimming pool that will fill up with water while you’re in the air. It takes courage and tenacity, and it is good to have a guide and comrades. I set up all of my classes to be learning communities of mutual support that celebrate each person. Come be you with us!