Ruckus logo in black lettering

Artist Profile: Erin LeAnn Mitchell

Erin LeAnn Mitchell is a mixed-media artist from Birmingham, Alabama. Her work centers Black futures and often portrays Black femmes, while highlighting aesthetic rituals and engaging concepts of Afrofuturism. Mitchell envisions expansive spatial and temporal worlds through vibrant colors, emphasizing the freedom to be that must be afforded to all Black people. Her pieces often gesture towards the rich interior worlds of Black life. She draws on her experiences growing up in a Southern matriarchal family to highlight the strategies Black women enact to thrive, while also navigating violently oppressive systems. She cites her grandmother’s quilting as a major influence in her own practice, much of which can be seen in her use of fabric appliqué and collage techniques. Mitchell’s attention to intricate details demonstrates a profound investment in care with each piece. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Art Education from Columbia College, Chicago. She has had solo exhibitions at AMFM gallery in Chicago, IL and the Birmingham Public Library in Alabama and has participated in several group exhibitions at Kravets Wehby Gallery in New York, NY, FLXST Contemporary in Chicago, IL and Ground Floor Contemporary in Birmingham, AL. Mitchell has also received several public art commissions, including her most recent mural “Calafia was Here” at the San Luis Obispo Art Museum (2022) and her work is part of the permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Fine Art.


An artwork made from fabric of various patterns in which a figure appears to be viewing themselves through a mirror while styling their hair. The figure is depicted using fabric in various solid shades of blue, as well as a blue-colored paisley fabric. They hold a sparkling red comb as they style their hair. On the vanity are several containers of styling products, a pink comb, a flat iron, and a clip. The vanity surface is embellished with beads, sequins, and cabochons that resemble hair clips popular with children in the shapes of flowers and butterflies.
Bonita Vanitas

An artwork depicting the activist Angela Davis. Two portraits combined, she is shown smiling on the left and speaking on the right. Her skin and hair are made up of various shades of blue and the fabric over her clothing contains various Black Power motifts. In her hair, a red comb with a Black Power fist sticks out. She is surrounded by glittery flower embellishments, sequins, and cabochons.
Our Queen (in honor of Dr. Angela Davis)

An artwork consisting of various shades of black, white, and blue. A woman stands, bending at the hips, so that her body forms an upside-down L with her legs at the far left. Her body is filled with cut-out stars in different shades of blue and various patterns. On the top right, she bends her head down so her hair flows downward. Within, 4 disembodied heads emerge, each one looking in different directions.
Peace Be Still
RUCKUS, 2018-2023
Louisville, KY