An Art Teacher’s Journey by ANNE BROWN
December 1 - December 29
RECEPTION: DECEMBER 13th, 5-7 PM
Images shown above (L-R): The Wharf and the Rising Tide (acrylic collage), The Working Girl (collage), The Salt Marsh (encaustic), The Kindness (mixed media)
I have always wanted to make art. Throughout my travels and in the many moves I made with my family, the need to create something was always present. Cross-country travels inspired to me to observe landscapes seeing them first as serene places, but later evolving to project the forces of nature that created these environments. Some of my formal training, especially in printmaking, had me focus more on the emotive responses that needed more exploration. Hence, there was a shift in my use of texture and a more painterly approach to my mark making, which has become free and reveals the process. I continue to enjoy painting nature in a variety of media.
Over the span of my teaching career, I have taught nearly four thousand students, many going on to become professional artists, fashion designers, architects, and illustrators. As someone who saves everything, I made copies of student work, was gifted student work and even purchased student work. Their talents far exceeded the expectations I had when I began my teaching career.
This exhibit displays my range of creativity across a variety of media; creativity I used to encourage my students to increase their breadth of artistic skills, and inspire them to continue their art as a professional or in their everyday life. To that end, I proudly exhibit some of their work.
Anne Brown is a recently retired art educator. Over the years at many art events and, to this day, people mistakenly thought she had attended college to learn art skills. Nothing could be further from the truth. She always wanted to create something, and any material was fair game; whether it be clay or paint. However, the public schools did not provide any consistent curriculum.
The personal irony is that her father was a college professor and school administrator, beginning his career in Pennsylvania. His focus was curriculum development. In the 1960’s, as the as the “Baby Boomers” entered the expanding school systems, he was there to improve programs wherever he was needed. The family moved a lot. Brown attended eight different schools in seven different school systems in three different states from kindergarten to high school graduation. The visual arts, if any was provided, were relegated to crafts.
Brown’s mother, also an educator, and father both noticed her serious desire to create visual art. At age ten, they enrolled her in the prestigious Baum Art School, in Allentown, Pennsylvania for half a year of weekend classes. It was the best thing for her. Very expensive, very academic, and no nonsense; they dismissed two chatty girls from class. The Baum Art School experience was repeated at the beginning of eighth grade, but abruptly ended when the Browns moved to Oneonta, New York.
Oneonta provided a few more art opportunities but, at the beginning of eleventh grade, the family moved to Washington, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The guidance counselor there withdrew Brown from the art class she had selected and placed her in Latin class to be “better prepared for college.” However, the art teacher, who had already seen her drawing of a home near the city school and, with the help of my parents, readmitted her back into his painting class. By senior year, she and three other students had their own easel space at the back of the art room. It was the culmination of this journey that put her focus on Art Education.
Anne Brown graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Art Education. Her first teaching position was in Palmyra, PA, a town located not too far from Three Mile Island, the same year that it had the almost nuclear meltdown event. The school wanted all the elementary art projects to be identical, at which point she decided that she needed to save her money and return to graduate school. A few years later, she applied and was accepted into a graduate program at Rochester Institute of Technology. After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Painting, she began her teaching career in the Albany, NY area.
Brown has shown her work at the Agora Gallery in NYC, in a National Endowment for the Arts exhibit at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and in numerous shows in the Capital District area. She also accepts commissions for paintings.
Anne Brown now resides in Olmstedville, NY.