September's Alumni of the Month
Gregory Brown Jr.
Every month, we highlight an alumni from the ADiM department and catch up with them.
What have you been up to since leaving CCBC in 2010? Jobs, accomplishments you'd like to share, moving, etc.
Since CCBC in 2013, I've attended and Graduated from the Maryland Institute College of art with my BFA. The journey to becoming institutionalized ended in the fall of 2015. The school gave me tremendous growth with art as a concept, what art could mean, and what art could do.
For example, applying meaning to my doodles or reoccurring shapes that I may draw intuitively; transpired into the understanding that I was creating a language. And while I created that language I learned to question my medium, and question its symbolism and what it represented to the masses. This way my medium could become a vessel to effectively translate said concepts I would attempt to communicate.
This new found understanding I would sit on and let marinate for almost four years. In fact this description is probably the best I've ever been able to "vocalize" how I'm thinking about art.
Continuing, I began working for the Reginal F. Lewis museum during the early summer of 2018 as a contractor. I installed art, vinyl, and exhibition preparations, or anything needed for about three months. From there I wound up getting a gig with The Baltimore City Hall installing the art exhibitions and private work for Mayor Pugh at the time, also for about three months.
The signage job I'd worked for the year of 2017 into 2018 had blessed me with amazing install experience. So I started working for myself. In the year of 2018 I had about 7 jobs that I'd do within a month to obtain to cash flow needed to survive. It was liberating but stressfully. I'd grown upset with myself for not making art as much as I'd liked and not giving myself the time I needed. In the midst of it all by 2019 an opportunity came about for me to move to Texas, and so I did. There I completed a 32 feet by 8 foot mural and began working on producing instrumentals a lot more than my visual work. Texas brought me another great art community that was inclusive to music, performances, literature, and all.
What art projects are you currently working on and how does it compare to your work at CCBC?
I am currently finishing up an instrumental album that will be released on all streaming platforms very soon. As for my visual practice, I've been creating portrait on Glass with Window Tint or Car tint.
What’s your current art process like? How does it compare to when you were at CCBC?
Wow my process is radically different. During my time at CCBC I took pride in my technical skills. Being able to render and paint and draw was fascinating, and something I felt would make the work more original rather than a photo per say. So using tools like projecting or cameras for photography didn't feel like real work. Let's just say back then I would shame myself for the process I use today, which is a Cricut Explore. I use the cutting machine to cut out the film in design I program it with. Film or Tint is so delicate that cutting it with an exacto knife on my own causes tremendous stress on my hands, and is not time efficient at all. From there the magic happens.
How do you see your work growing in the future?
I'm not sure. The mediums I choose to work with is important. I have to resonate with said medium, or have some sort of history with it for the process to feel right. I am hoping to expand on the film project for a while though. Maybe getting the city to let me put film murals up on bus windows or bus stops. Maybe even get commissioned for portraits on someone's car window, who knows?
If you had to give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
If I had to give advice to my younger self I would say keep my head down. Keep moving and keep making work. I would say to not doubt myself and that things always work out in the end.