Mitch Bentley

Artist, Guest of Honor

Although born in Syracuse, New York, Mitchell was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was named for Maria Mitchell, the first woman astronomer, who was his great grandaunt on his mother’s side. His mother was an artist who worked in oils and taught him the rudiments of mixing, blending and care of his equipment. Painting remained a hobby while Mitchell first worked in the hotel and restaurant industry, then returned to school in 1980 to earn an associate degree in Electrical Electronics Technology from Oklahoma State University. He then worked as a field service engineer until 1988. Following a divorce in 1989, Mitchell combined his love of science, science fiction and painting into a new career in fine art and illustration. For two years, Mitchell apprenticed at the Robert Fields Gallery in Tulsa, where he learned the important skills of matting, framing and art conservation. He then attended his first science fiction & fantasy convention in 1991. During that time he also studied art at Tulsa Junior Collage and served as president of the Tulsa Artist’s Guild while building his business. In 1996, Mitch moved to Austin, TX, where he lived and worked for almost four years and served as Director at Large for the Association of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA). In December of 1999, Mitchell moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and in the fall of 2000 enrolled at the Pennsylvania State University. He earned a Bachelor Degree in Humanities in 2004 followed by a Master of Arts in 2006. His thesis and creative production was entitled “Astronomical Art: A Historical Analysis and Exhibition of Digitally Created Work.” Mitchell has lectured at universities, worked in film, taught art, edited publications and appeared as Artist Guest of Honor at over a 25 science fiction conventions, winning over 55 awards. His work has been published both domestically and internationally as cover art for books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, posters, trading cards, newspapers and fine art editions. Mitchell is a lifetime member of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, serving as regional director for several terms and President.