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A Brief Discussion of Mixed Media Art

what is mixed media

Mixed media is a somewhat broad category of art. It is a form of visual art that involves incorporating more than one creative medium, material, or method to create artwork. It allows artists to combine different artistic approaches to create art with a depth and character that might not be achievable through the use of a single art technique or creative process. Mixed media is useful to artists interested in creating composition, color, texture, size, etc. in their artworks in non-traditional ways.

Mixed media art can take many forms, some of the most commonly known being collage, assemblage, and sculpture. Many of these mixed media artworks feature paint, fabric, paper, and found objects. The range of artworks that fall under the mixed media “umbrella” extends from paintings which use a combination of paints such as acrylics and oils together, to found objects repurposed in an artistic context, to works of sculpture or installation art that are composed of varied elements that might include the foundational medium (e.g., stone, bronze, etc.) along with complementary elements (e.g., fabric, paper, glass, etc.) that are integral to the final whole work.

People often confuse mixed media art with multimedia art; it differs in that multimedia art generally incorporates non-visual art components such as performance art (e.g., dance, music, etc.), literary art (e.g., prose or poetry, written or read aloud, etc.), graphics-in-motion, etc. Multimedia art might also be interactive in nature. All that being said, mixed media continues to grow in popularity amongst traditional artists seeking opportunities to experiment and diversify their art.

Mixed media art as a genre became more common than ever at the turn of the 20th century, during the Post-Modern art period, a time of innovation in the art world. This happened as a result of new and different media being developed and becoming more available to artists. The evolution of art methods and media inspired artists of that time to create using new and different techniques. The rise of the mixed media genre led to significant growth and change in the art world that continues even today.

Check out online resources like the official website of the Tate Gallery and to learn more about Mixed Media art!

The Naples Art District, a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization, is home to the largest concentration of working artists in the Southwest Florida region. The 90+ fine artists who maintain their professional studios and galleries in the Naples Art District share their talents with one another and the public during open studio times and a wide variety of community events presented by the organization throughout each year. For more information about the Naples Art District, please don’t hesitate to contact the organization directly via their official website. And if you would like to visit the District for a self-guided tour, check out the interactive map of the Naples Art District published on the site. Also consider becoming a Naples Art District Supporter to encourage and preserve the fine arts in Naples.