Printmaker, sculptor, book artist, and curator Mitzi Humphrey (BFA ’87/A, MFA ’97/A) is putting her knowledge and research skills to good use documenting many of Richmond’s key artists, galleries, and studios on Wikipedia. An experienced Wikipedia writer and editor, Humphrey utilizes resources available through VCU libraries to conduct research and write on many subjects. As a co-founder and past co-director for art6 Gallery as well as a co-founder and past president of Artspace Gallery (a precursor to art6 Gallery), Humphrey is deeply entrenched in Richmond and Central Virginia’s robust art community and has been since her arrival in Richmond in the 1970’s.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee (BS ’57/Art Education and Fine Arts), Humphrey began her career as an Art and English teacher in Knoxville Public Schools and went on to earn a master’s in British and American literature from Auburn. She adds the knowledge gained from these earlier studies to the culminating degrees of her career–the BFA and MFA that she earned from VCU Arts–to inform her work with Wikipedia. In addition to the co-founding of Artspace and later art6, Humphrey studied with Bruce Schnabel, Laura Pharis, and Carol Barton at the Richmond Printmaking Workshop and with Marilyn Bevilaqua at the Virginia Museum Studio School. She served as President of the Richmond Artists Association for which she published and edited the 1976 RAA Postcard Project, a collaborative limited edition mail art book of postcards by RAA member artists. Through a grant under the umbrella of the Women’s Caucus for Art from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Humphrey attended the first national book art show in NYC and subsequently curated Art ex Libris, an international book art invitational held at Artspace (documented on video and available via VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives). In this exhibit she brought together more than 100 examples of book art from the United States, Canada, and England.
Wikipedia is an ever-evolving global online encyclopedia to which Humphrey has contributed significant information on area artists and art organizations. She has taken to heart the Wikipedian motto “Be Bold” and has written 24 articles and made over 5000 edits. She has written articles on fluxus-affiliated book and text artist, Davi Det Hompson (1939-1996), VMFA curator Pinkney Near (1927-1990), and printmaker Tanja Softic, as well as art6 and the Richmond Printmaking Workshop.
Humphrey continues her experimental printmaking and book art on an old Vandercook press in her backyard studio (Summer Wind Studio) and has started working with the new but ancient medium of encaustic painting.