Huntsville, Ala – The Huntsville Museum of Art’s (HMA) 24th Annual Gala continues its tradition of bringing people and art together with a trio of events planned for March 4, 5 and 7. Recognized as one of Huntsville’s premier fundraising events, the Gala has generated more than $2.2 million in support of HMA throughout its 24year history. These proceeds help bring nationally recognized exhibitions to Huntsville and Madison County.

Dean L. Mitchell of Tampa, Florida, is the featured artist for this year’s Gala. Born in 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mitchell was raised in Quincy, Florida. A graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, he is well known for his figurative works, landscapes, and still lifes.

“While considered one of the most highly-regarded, American watercolorists of this time,” Melanie Murray, Gala chairwoman, said, “Mitchell is equally accomplished in other mediums including egg temperas, oils, and pastels.”

The Gala will kick off its festivities Wednesday, March 4, at 11:30 a.m. with a luncheon featuring Mitchell as keynote speaker. Raised by his grandmother, who taught him to live within his means, be thankful for what he had, and to work hard for what he wanted, Mitchell’s life story makes him an unlikely artist. An excerpt from the documentary Dean Mitchell: Power and Presence describes his relationship with art: “A father who would not claim him; a mother who left town in shame. Young Dean Mitchell learned how to put his hurt and loneliness down on canvas. For him, painting was more than a hobby or diversion. For him, it quickly became a trusted friend.”

Silent and live art auctions will be held at both the Black Tie Dinner (live auction) on Thursday, March 5, and the Cocktail Party (silent auction) on Saturday, March 7. More than 75 artists participated in this year’s Gala by contributing more than 175 items. Featured Artist Dean Mitchell will have 18 paintings available. One of Mitchell’s works will be auctioned off at the live auction during the Black Tie Dinner, while the other 17 paintings will be available as part of the silent auction during the Cocktail Party. Many other extraordinary works of art will be offered at both events, held in the Huntsville Museum of Art’s galleries and Loretta Spencer Hall.

Artwork to be auctioned is currently on display in the Museum’s galleries. The public is invited to view the exhibition of Gala works and to place early sealed bids.

Gala chairwomen are Samantha Bentley, Melanie Murray, Kathryn Price, and Patti Thornton.

Tickets to the three events may be purchased separately. Tickets to the 11:30 a.m. Gala Luncheon with Dean Mitchell, March 4, are $75 per person. Tickets to the Gala Black Tie Dinner and Live Auction, March 5, are $300 per person or $500 per person at the Advocate Level. Advocate tickets include admission to the Gala Cocktail Party, and the first 30 to purchase an Advocate ticket receive an autographed copy of the book The Watercolors of Dean Mitchell. Tickets to attend the Cocktail Party, March 7, are $150 per person. More information is available at or by calling 256.535.4359.