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Focus on: Tina Mullen

The Penland Gallery and Visitors Center presents its first Focus exhibition of the year, a new body of  work in drawing and painting by Tina Mullen. This show is on view in the Focus Gallery from Friday, March 22 through Sunday, April 28th, with an opening reception Friday, March 22, from 4:30 – 6pm.


"Carolina Wren," watercolor and graphite on nautical chart, 6 x 6 in.
“Crosshairs,” watercolor and graphite on nautical chart, 14 x 11 in.


“I find that I use it often – the phrase “out of the blue” – to describe events, ideas, and the way things strike me.  I wonder if I use it more than others, or if I’m just less prepared than others and things catch me off guard.  Regardless, I enjoy contemplating the notion that things happen unexpectedly. That some of the best things in life are unplanned, unscheduled, and come to us by chance – out of the blue.  The real beauty for me is what becomes of us because of them.

In my work, “out of the blue” represents migration, journey and the stories that happen along the way. Many of the drawings are done on maps. Maps of places traveled, Maps given to me by friends and Maps that come with their own history. Represented are maps of some of the places that I love – Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Other points of departure for my drawings might be a piece of paper found in an old book that contains the owners’ doodles or handwriting. Those marks, the age of the paper, slight rips or tears bear witness to a past unknown to me.  I enjoy excavating through those marks, setting off on a new path – a new visual adventure.

Here’s to the journey.” – Tina Mullen


"Small Precarious Fate," watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil on vintage paper, 18 x 12 in.
“Small Precarious Fate,” watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil on vintage paper, 18 x 12 in.


Tina Mullen is an artist who lives in Gainesville, Florida. She is also the director of Shands Arts in Medicine – a program that brings the arts to patients and families struggling with serious illness.

“I have painted and drawn pictures my entire life. I believe that the arts are a vehicle for transformation and personal expression, and my passion is to help others bring art into their lives in meaningful ways.”

Tina has been a drawing instructor at Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida, as well as Interim Director of the University Galleries at UF. Tina is also a working artist who has exhibited her work throughout the United States.  She has received numerous awards including the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs. She has been a visiting artist at Penland, the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.

Tina has a BA from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and has an MFA from the University of Florida.


Tina Mullen
Tina Mullen


Click here to visit Tina’s website, where you can see more of her work.

Click here to visit the Penland Gallery website.

Penland’s Focus Gallery is a space primarily dedicated to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, it presents a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons.

Click here for more information about the Focus Gallery.