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 over 20 years exhibiting nationally and locally. She is a healing arts facilitator, 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 techniques that help foster civil dialogue and trust while working through difficult issues. She is a trainer and facilitator in the healing 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 is an Ex Fabula fellow storyteller and coach committed to advocating for social justice. She uses the art of storytelling to assist people of various populations to be empowered to share their personal stories; enabling them to establish meaningful connections with others thereby breaking down walls of oppression, racism, misrepresentation, and other barriers that seek to diminish human dignity. Brown participates in story slams and conducts storytelling and training workshops. 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.
Blanche Brown with Wisconsin 30 at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS
UUFDC Sunday services: “Hide And Seek.”
“The Transformative Power of Art.” Article featured in Door County Pulse. February 2017.
“Listen Up”. Milwaukee Magazine Interview for Ex Fabula. November 2017.
“The ‘Awful Reality’ of Prejudice”. Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service & Urban Milwaukee Op-Ed for Ex Fabula.
“The Unexpected Gift: An Interview with Blanche Brown, Artist and Activist”. Milwaukee Renaissance. Spring 2016.
“Justified Art!” A book published in conjunction with the Justified Art exhibition held in Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI in 2015.
“Collage on View: A Community of Voices” Kolaj Magazine feature for work presented by the 2018 class of inductees to the Sisters of Creativity at the Wisconsin Art Museum. Summer 2020.
Non-Profits & Resources