RETROSPECTIVE of Brown’s work appeared at the UNCW
WBM august 2017
Cultural Arts Building Art Gallery in June 2017.
Preparing for this comprehensive show granted the
artist an opportunity to reflect on her development
Brown describes this as an enjoyable and
instructive experience. She particularly notes the differences in being
a young artist working toward a lasting career and being an estab-lished
artist with the bandwidth to share knowledge and be selective
in her art-making.
“One important thing that struck me about the retrospective is that
I worked harder when I was younger,” she says. “I think that is because
there used to be so much pressure to even just find the time. I strug-gled
and really pushed myself.”
In this way, she notes one of the many difficulties that female artists
face, and have faced throughout art history — the challenge of main-taining
lives as wives and mothers while achieving success in a highly
labor-intensive field. In this revelation, as in her art production, Brown
is self-reflective, insightful, and honest.
Betty Brown’s work, which incorporates an impressive variety of
skills and techniques, is stunning and impactful. In the sheer diversity
of her art production, one finds many relatable scenes and arresting
moments. And in the honesty and emotion of each individual piece,
the viewer bears witness to a constantly evolving creative life.
Sound Passage, 22 x 30 inches, watercolor on paper.
Ann’s Boat, 22 x 15 inches, watercolor on paper.