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Rhonda K. Brown

Rhonda K Brown (b. Cleveland, OH. 1969) is an experienced painter who explores how Black subjects, especially women, are seen and represented in their everyday encounters. Brown’s portraits disrupt Eurocentric representations of Blackness and invite the viewer to connect with the emotions resonating beneath the surface of these figures by employing dramatic simplicity, vibrant and intentional color palettes, exaggerated layering and gestural strokes.

Born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, Brown engaged in a deep legacy of art from a young age. In 1980, her family opened Malcolm Brown Gallery in Shaker Heights, Ohio. This experience significantly impacted her visual language as an artist as well as her entrepreneurial skills as an art advisor. She is especially attuned to the cornerstones as well as the gaps of the historical Black art canon through her practical experiences as well as her education. Brown received her BFA from Ohio State University, Columbus, majoring in painting and drawing and art history and an MA in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In September 2022, Rhonda’s paintings were featutered in the inagural exhibition of Grow As We Are: Porches & Pulpits: The Inkwell Haven Residency exhibition at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Other  exhibitions include: “More Like My Mother”, a solo-booth exhibition with Malcolm Brown Gallery at Future Fair, Chelsea, NY (2022),“Untitled,” a solo exhibition at Ware Gallery, Evanston, IL (2021); “Voices of Color”, a group show at Knowhere Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard (2020); IMPACT Color: IMPACT Black and White at the Art Center Highland Park, IL (2020) and “Our Story,” a solo exhibition at Knowhere Gallery, Oak Bluffs, MA (2019).

Brown also completed two artist-in-residence programs at  The Inkwell Haven in Oak Bluffs, MA and The Foundation House in Greenwich, CT in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Her work appears in private collections across the country, and has been written about The Academic Journal, the International Review of African American Art, Classic Chicago Magazine, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In July 2023, Rhonda returned home to live, work, and create in Cleveland, Ohio. She is working in the Mayor’s office as the Senior Strategist for Arts, Culture & Creative Economy for the City of Cleveland.