ADRIENNE BROWN-DAVID
BIO

 

​Art has always been a huge part of Adrienne’s life. As a small child, her grandmother would keep all of the
paper grocery bags for Adrienne to draw on. She drew on the sidewalks with chalk and broken pieces of brick.
She made costumes and masks and carved little slivers of used ivory soap into animals in her free time. As
she got older her mother noticed that art was something that was going to be a part of Adrienne, so she began
to encourage it. She was enrolled in art classes after school and on weekends. Her mother took her to
galleries and museums. In high school, all of Adrienne’s electives were art related and after graduation, she
went on to spend a year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Though she only stayed for her
foundation year, the experience at SAIC had a huge impact on her as an artist. Adrienne’s confidence grew
and her willingness to experiment with styles and mediums flourished. After leaving SAIC, she returned home
to St. Louis for a couple of years where she taught after school art classes to kids in the neighborhood and
drew regularly on her own. Her focus during this time was graphite and colored pencil realism and figurative
work. Soon life took Adrienne in a completely different direction and she moved to St. Croix in the US Virgin
Islands. Living there immersed her in an environment that was both familiar and completely foreign. It was the
first time that she’d ever lived in a place where she was not a minority. The beauty of the land and the culture
impacted her art in a huge way. She began to combine her willingness to experiment with styles and mediums
with portraiture of the people around her. This was when she really began to paint. In her time on St. Croix,
Adrienne got married and had three children. Her children added a new element to her artistic style and
subject matter. Watching their growth and development as well as their innocence and sense of wonder
touched a part of Adrienne that had not been visited since her own childhood. Capturing that innocence and
intensity became the main focus of her work. When she was pregnant with her fourth child, she relocated from
St. Croix and settled in Mississippi where her experiences were also both familiar and foreign. Today, she
lives in a small town in MIssissippi with her husband and four daughters.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work captures black childhood that is pure and uninterrupted. My children and their real life experiences
are often the subject. The need to capture the reality of their specific childhood and the freedom that comes
with it is one that drives me. It is essential that the work illuminates an often under-recognized narrative: that
black childhood is as important and as beautiful as every other child's. The moments captured are even more
precious because black childhood is too often viewed through a smaller lens and for a shorter time than
mainstream culture recognizes and articulates. Society tends to cut short the childhood of black and brown
children. It has been shown that black children are often viewed as older and less innocent than other children
of similar age. What does this mean for my children? My goal is to create work that shatters that myth. By
both fostering an environment where my children can remain children and capturing that environment in my art
I am attempting to create a new narrative.


As my children get older, and their childhood becomes less about innocence, and more about solidifying the
women they will become, the mood of the work shifts. I am attempting to capture that growth as I see it
everyday. Sometimes that looks like attitudes, eye rolling, and slumped shoulders, but other times that looks
like elaborate designs in their hair, headwraps and big hoop earrings. These shifts in their growth are just as
important to the women that they will become as their ability to have free and innocent childhoods. Because of
that, it is equally important to capture those moments. I want my work to reinforce the humanization of black
youth and how that relates to growing up in America.

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Past exhibits 

- Oxford, MS

    Spring 2014: City Grocery 

- Oxford, MS

    Spring 2014: Boure

- Oxford, MS

    October 2013: One Night Stand - Oxford, MS

    October 2013: Oxford Art Crawl - Oxford, MS

    September 2013: Oxford Art Crawl - Oxford, MS

    Spring 2013: Boure - Oxford, MS

    March 2013: InterACTions - Oxford, MS

    March 2012: InterACTions - Oxford, MS

    February 2010: A Long TIme Coming - Water Valley, MS

    2008: Perpetual Flux The Brilliant Easel - Oxford, MS

    2006: Inconspicuous Walsh Metal Works - St. Croix, US Virgin                 Islands

    2005: Adrienne Brown: A Retrospective Danica's Fine Art - St.                   Croix, US Virgin Islands

    2004: Arts and Entertainment Caribbean Community Theater -                 St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

    2002 - 2006: Good Hope Annual Fine Arts Exhibition (Group                  Exhibition) Good Hope School - St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

    1993 and 1997: Visions (Group Exhibition) Portfolio Gallery and            Educational Center - St. Louis, MO

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