Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Laura Allums Mitchell: Teacher, Principal, Artist

At the beginning of her career, Laura Allums Mitchell, after receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art, worked in retailing as a buyer and in the space program at Michoud as a graphic artist. Upon moving to St. Tammany she began her career in education, as a teacher, reading specialist, supervisor and administrator. 

Twenty-eight years later, she retired from the St. Tammany School System in 1998 as the principal of Mandeville Elementary School.

Now An Acclaimed International Artist
      Upon retiring from the school system she returned to her first love of painting. She is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, the Louisiana Watercolor Society, and the Mississippi Watercolor Society. She was invited to exhibit her work in Belgium in 2014 and has been invited as a guest of honor to the Internationale Exhibition in France in 2016.

Laura Allums Mitchell

According to Rhonda Chambers, who wrote a profile of Laura for the St. Tammany Retired School Employees Association website, Allums has been juried into many local, state and national art exhibitions, receiving numerous awards throughout the years. Her paintings are in permanent collections in the United States and Australia.  

"Laura likes to be in her studio by 9 a.m. where she either works on a current painting or lesson plans for the watercolor classes she teaches at Christwood Community Center. Her day is through by 3 p.m. She then likes to curl up with a good book; she is an avid reader. She is currently reading the “Into the Wilderness” series by Sara Donati," Ms. Chambers stated.

A Laura Allums Mitchell creation
  When asked to name three people she would most like to invite to dinner Laura answered Jane Austen, Diana Gabaldon, and James Toogood, a nationally acclaimed watercolorist who teaches at the Pensylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. Studying at the Art Students League in New York City is high on her “bucket list” of things to do.

  A favorite memory is sitting on the back porch of her childhood home in Mississippi listening to family stories. This is something she and her sisters enjoy to this day. Ms. Chambers then notes that Laura's favorite animal is Jazz, who is a rescue dog she shares with her sister.  

Another of Laura's artworks
Television Interview

St. Tammany retired educator Laura Allums Mitchell was interviewed several years ago by Marian Arrowsmith on the St. Tammany Parish Public School System's "Channel 13" Reflections program.

Here is the video of that interview. Click on the "play" triangle to start the video. 

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