Local artist and former student finds beauty in unexpected places.
By James Dusek
After having a grapefruit-sized tumor removed from her brain, local artist Katherine Brown found she could work for only a few minutes at a time.
Now, over seven years later, Brown is healthy and will be exhibiting her found-object and digital-hybrid printmaking art from Sept. 15 to Dec. 2 on the third and fourth floors of Moody Learning Center.
The library will host a meet-the-artist breakfast reception from 10 a.m.-noon Sept. 15 on the fourth floor of Moody.
The exhibit embodies more than a decade of Brown’s work, with pieces from as early as her time as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas in San Antonio to present-day works.
Brown, a former fine arts student at this college, makes heavy use of grungy, discarded objects in her sculptures.
“Other people’s trash can be treasure to me,” she said. Brown uses everything from digital prints to vintage doll heads, excavated from German doll factories that were destroyed during World War II, which she buys in bulk online. She seeks out objects with history and character and uses them to build new narratives.
“You can use (the object’s) stories and why you like it to create your own story,” Brown said.
Brown’s own story is etched with personal challenges and triumph. In early 2009, a large tumor was found and removed from her frontal lobe. Brown was given one to three years to survive. She said her doctors always ask, “What is it that keeps you going?”
Brown’s method is simple: Eat healthy, visit the gym regularly and be the mother of ninth-grade twins that keep her on her toes.
Brown said her recovery was slow. For some time, she could only work for a few minutes before needing to rest. Over time, however, those periods of work became longer.
“Ten minutes turned into 20,” Brown said. Within six months, Brown had produced enough art for an exhibit at Al Rendon Photography and Fine Art, where she had worked as a darkroom developer and assistant photographer during college.
Brown’s professional history is almost as eclectic as her sculptures. She studied printmaking in Florence, worked as creative director at local fine art studio Alternative Ink and was an artist in residence at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center.
Some of Brown’s exhibit is already on display in Moody. More information on Brown can be found at http://www.artkatstudio.us/. For more information on the exhibit, email Joan Fabian at firstname.lastname@example.org.