Blanche Brown, a native of Chicago, is a multi-media artist. As an art and community activist, Brown’s work addresses social injustices and the psychological and psychosocial impact these issues have on undeserved and underrepresented groups. It provides a forum for youth, women, minorities, and other diverse individuals to openly discuss the challenges they encounter; namely, stereotypes, inequality, and violence that invade their lives. She also explores 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. She uses painting, sculpture, collage, fiber, printmaking, public/community art, and mixed media to accomplish this.
Brown had no interest in drawing or painting herself until Bonner died unexpectedly. It was important to have something to connect his life to hers; art became that connection. Brown currently resides in Milwaukee and has been a professional artist for 15 years exhibiting nationally and locally. She is a mentor at Redline Milwaukee, where she is involved in the professional development of artists and exhibition programs with a focus on socially relevant issues. She has been a guest artist and artist-in-residence at several schools and community programs working with youth including those suffering from autism and mental illness. Brown also serves as facilitator where she uses reflective structured techniques to help foster civil dialogue and trust while working through difficult issues. She is also trained in First Aid Arts, a program designed to equip trauma care providers with arts-based tools and training. The program serves survivors of abuse, violence and disaster. Brown also writes poetry and is a spoken word, storyteller, and performance artist. She encourages youth to use art and writing as a means to express themselves.