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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Girl Standing on Beach”Girl Standing on Beach

    Girl painted orangeâa color that represents warning, alarm, or danger. Dismal background and symbols point to bleak future; unless there is intervention her future will be far from "bright." Mixed signals present in play "toys."

Blanche Brown

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

artist bio

Blanche Brown, a native of Chicago, is a self-taught artist. Brown's stepfather, Robert Bonner (a visual and commercial artist) tried to teach her how to draw when she was a young girl. Though she would regularly watch him draw, Brown had no interest in drawing or painting herself until 2003 when Bonner died unexpectedly. Brown began sketching to help deal with the sudden loss. It was important to have something to connect his life to hers; painting and drawing became that connection.

Brown has exhibited in several juried shows and galleries. She is currently exhibiting at Faces of Color (Daytona Beach, FL) with several upcoming exhibitions at Delafield Art Center, Gallery 224, and Gallery Grand in Wisconsin. She won an award in the WI Artists Biennial 2011 Exhibition (Kenosha, WI). Brown has been a guest artist and artist-in-residence at several schools and community programs. She currently resides in Milwaukee and has been a professional artist for over eight years.

artist statement

In my present course of work, I attempt to explore the complications of child's play, as it must coexist with societal problems and issues, as well as the potential for success and failure children may face. The missing components of a secure, nurturing environment serve to short-circuit a child's development; often diminishing or entirely eliminating his freedom to be a child at play. In a world where neglect, child abuse, and poor influences are so prevalent they are almost expected; I am compelled to address these inequities.

My work attempts to speak for the children who cannot speak for themselves. I accomplish this, in part, through the use of drawing, painting, mixed media, and installation. Faceless images serve as representations of all children and depict the intermingling of their play and interaction with the world around them. The limited color palette used in my paintings is significant and intentional in the hope that the viewer will focus on the issues I speak to. The children at play painted in red, orange, and yellow serve as visual indicators that are used in society to sound off a warning. Sometimes symbols and words are used to point to paths or directions that can lead to positive possibilities or further despair. The diminished hues of everything else in the background point to the potential of a bleak, purposeless, uncertain future if present conditions remain unchanged.