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Noted Painter Frederick Brown to Visit Wayne State Nov. 8-12

Published: 10-21-2010 11:50 am

Noted painter Frederick J. Brown will be in residence Nov. 8-12 at Wayne State College. Brown has been a passionately expressive painter for more than 30 years, focusing on paying tribute to jazz musician icons such as Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Brown will conduct workshops in painting, drawing, watercolor and mixed media.
Hosted by the WSC Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association and the Department of Art and Design, a screening of a documentary film about his life will be presented for the public at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 in the WSC Student Center, Frye Conference Suite. Classes and the public also have the opportunity to attend a presentation of the documentary film with the artist present 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 12:30-1:45 p.m. Nov. 11 in Gardner Auditorium.

Brown was born in 1945 in Greensboro, Ga., and was raised by working class parents in Chicago.  It was there that he became familiar with the Chicago jazz culture as an outgrowth of the strong spiritual traditions of the Black Church and the Africans' musical response to life in America.  In college he trained as an architecture major, but later switched to fine arts. 

Brown settled in New York in 1970 and began associations with notable people such as Willem de Kooning, jazz great Ornette Coleman, Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers. Brown married dancer Megan Bowman in 1979. He taught at the Central College of Fine Arts and Crafts in Beijing, China, and became the first American to have an exhibit at the Museum of the Chinese Revolution at Tiananmen Square.  Brown is clear about his origins and influences and describes how, "I was always in love with Abstract Expressionism. Abstract Expressionism was a very beautiful, lyrical language. Also, I had always been fascinated with that type of surface because my mother was a baker and I used to like to watch her frost cakes and things."

Brown moved to Arizona in 1989, and continues to work from a studio in a Scottsdale industrial building.  He has painted more than 300 larger-than-life portraits of great jazz and blues giants in their prime and has had solo exhibits at major galleries throughout the country including the New Orleans Museum of Art.  The Wayne State College art collection includes several art works by Brown. These works are on permanent display in the Peterson Fine Arts Building on the WSC campus.

Brown's visit to WSC is sponsored by the Office of Interim President Curt Frye, WSC Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association, Department of Art and Design, WSC Student Activities Board, the Wayne State Foundation and the School of Arts and Humanities, and hosted by Dr. Pearl Hansen, Professor of Art.

For information: Dr. Pearl Hansen (402) 375-7131


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