Thursday, September 28, 2017

Reynolds hosting Coakley Brown Alumni Art Exhibit: 
"Nature's Light: A Celebration of Color"

Richmond, Va. (October 6, 2017) - The Conference Center Gallery in the Workforce Development and Conference Center on Reynolds Community College Parham Road Campus will open its doors Monday, October 16 to showcase Coakley Brown’s art exhibit, “Nature's Light: A Celebration of Color.” The exhibit of 33 of Coakley's works will be on display through January 2018.

Brown says, “At age four, I wanted to be an artist. I remember a relative telling me that as an artist, “You’ll have to wear a beret…” - I didn’t like that. I did enjoy creating art whenever I could. Nonetheless, teaching science and raising a family became my focus, a path that seemed most practical at the time. As a teacher and parent, I nurtured in students, my children, and myself, observation skills as a means of understanding and appreciating the natural world.

As my children grew, “forced” ventures into galleries/art museums became a running family joke. Often, I was searching for pieces that I could not quite find. My family encouraged me to paint my own. Eventually, a wake-up call reminded me that as humans, none of us lives forever. The message: What are you waiting for? DO THE THING!

As a representational artist, I am happiest when working with expressive brush strokes, capturing and exaggerating hints of color on canvas in a celebration of the light and color I see. Whether in the studio or field, my work is often inspired by nature. Painting directly from life en plein air ‘in open air’, brings me a bliss I relish sharing with others. I strive to produce work that is authentic, but not photographic in detail. There is a balance, I believe, where authenticity is achieved in the choice of details captured or omitted. The search for that balance, arriving at it, and searching again, is paramount to my artistic journey.

The public is invited to the open reception Monday, October 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information about this event or to schedule a tour of the collection, contact Karen Steele at