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Joseloff Gallery to Present an Exhibition by Late Hartford Art School Faculty Member Stephen Brown


Posted 08/21/2012
Posted by David Isgur

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The University of Hartford's Joseloff Gallery at the Hartford Art School will present the exhibition, Stephen Brown: Legacy, featuring paintings and drawings by the late artist Stephen Brown, from Tuesday, Sept. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 14. There will be a gala opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m., followed by an auction of seven original paintings and drawings by Brown, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Stephen Brown Memorial Scholarship at the Hartford Art School.

Stephen Brown: Legacy will showcase more than 100 paintings and drawings from 25 public and private collections with a focus on the years from 1989 through 2009, when Brown was a member of the painting faculty at the Hartford Art School. The luminous still lives of everyday objects that Brown was known for, as well as his candid and stunning portraits, will be on view in the exhibition alongside pastoral images of Pennsylvania dairy farms and sprawling landscape scenes from Colorado to New England and the French countryside.

Directly following the reception, an auction will take place in the 1877 Club restaurant adjacent to the Joseloff Gallery. Five oil paintings, one pastel drawing, and one pencil drawing will be available for bid. All interested parties are invited to attend the auction. Bidder registration will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Joseloff Gallery, prior to the start of the auction. To preview the auction items, please visit www.joseloffgallery.org/stephenbrown.

Friends, artists, collectors, and former students, as well as Brown’s family members will be in attendance at the gala reception, which will be held in the Joseloff Gallery, to pay tribute. During the reception, a portrait of University of Hartford President Walter Harrison will be unveiled. The portrait, begun in 2006, was left incomplete in 2009 at the time of Brown's death.

Stephen Brown: Legacy was organized and curated by Joseloff Gallery Managing Director Lisa Gaumond, along with a committee of Brown's Hartford Art School colleagues and close friends (Tom Bradley, Gilles Giuntini, and Walter Hall), that worked closely with Brown's widow, Gretchen Treitz-Brown, to present an exhibit that would pay tribute to the memory of Brown.

An extensive exhibition catalog with essays by Lennart Anderson, Philip Pearlstein, and Walter Hall will be available for purchase in the gallery. Proceeds from the sale of the catalog also will benefit the Stephen Brown Memorial Scholarship at the Hartford Art School.

About Stephen Brown

Born in 1950, Brown earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Colorado State University and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where studied with the painter Alice Neel. He moved to New York in 1973 to become Neel's studio assistant, and later enrolled in graduate school at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, receiving his master's degree. During this time, Brown became involved in the Alliance of Figurative Artists, an artist-run discussion group of New York painters, where he rubbed elbows and shared ideas with artists such as Paul Georges and Paul Resika.

In 1989, Brown accepted a teaching position at the Hartford Art School and it was there that he found his calling as a teacher. Brown flourished in his roles as teacher and artist, and received many honors and accolades. He was awarded a show at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury in 1991 and another at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain in 1993. Many regional New England exhibitions followed including shows at Hofstra Museum, Paesaggio Gallery, New York Academy of Art, National Academy of Design, and the prestigious Forum Gallery in New York. In 1994, Brown received the prestigious Academy Award in Painting from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York.

In late 2005, Brown suffered a stroke that temporarily robbed him of the use of his left hand and gave him limited use of his right. "The stroke changed everything," he wrote at the time. "I was afraid that I would never be able to make art again." With the support of his family and friends, Brown eventually regained the ability to paint and did so with renewed passion. A great many self-portraits were created during this time, showing strength and frank determination as he battled with continuing health problems, and the diagnosis of lung cancer, which eventually claimed his life.

Brown is well remembered by his students, many of whom wrote online tributes to him. Sam McKinniss, whose portrait Brown painted in 2008, wrote, "He was a keenly sensitive artist, humble, quiet. When we learned of his illness, Stephen made no secret of it, and made his struggle for wellness a classroom teaching aid. It was heartbreaking and it still is." Another student, Sarah Paolucci, wrote, "He was an amazing teacher and I am a better artist because of him, as are many who have attended the Hartford Art School. His beauty and legacy live on in his paintings."

About The Stephen Brown Memorial Scholarship at the Hartford Art School

The Stephen Brown Memorial Scholarship at the Hartford Art School provides financial assistance to any Hartford Art School student, in any medium, who demonstrates talent and/or financial need. The fund, established in 2009, will present its first award in the fall of 2012. If you wish to contribute to this fund or make a gift to the Hartford Art School, please contact Arlyne Alexander at aalexande@hartford.edu or visit Hartford Art School Giving.

About Joseloff Gallery

The mission of the Joseloff Gallery is to enhance the studio programs at the Hartford Art School through the creation of exhibitions focusing on a wide range of contemporary art in all media. In doing so, its programs utilize the entire University of Hartford community and foster a greater understanding and enjoyment of contemporary art throughout the region. The Joseloff Gallery exhibition program is designed to explore concepts, issues, and directions in contemporary art, while reinforcing the power, richness and diversity of visual language. Exhibitions are funded through the Kohn/Joseloff Foundation, private endowments, and corporate, government, and individual contributions. For more information about the gallery, please visit www.joseloffgallery.org.

For more information, contact Lisa Gaumond, managing director of Joseloff Gallery, at 860.768.5559 or gaumond@hartford.edu.

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