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Under the Influence: Works of Penny Brown and Her Former Students in the Art World

Glasgow Landscape

Glasgow artist and art educator Penny Brown will be the featured artist in an Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art exhibition opening Sunday, June 7, at Central Methodist University.

Titled "Under the Influence: Works of Penny Brown and Her Former Students in the Art World," the exhibition runs through July 23. Brown will be present for an artist's reception from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the opening day. More than 60 pieces of art, including about 30 works produced by Browns former students, are being featured. Also being shown are 18 new acquisitions now part of The Ashby-Hodge Gallery's permanent collection.

Brown recently retired as an art teacher in the Glasgow Public Schools, where she taught for 30 years. She still teaches part time in the New Franklin Elementary School. Over the past three decades she has taught many students who have gone on to careers as artists and art educators. The works of 19 of those former students are included in The Ashby-Hodge Gallery exhibition. These include pieces in colored pencil, black and white photos and photo collage, mixed media and acrylics.

Brown is well known for her watercolors, especially of everyday and rural scenes in her home county of Howard. Among her works in the exhibition will be familiar scenes and places, such as the old Glasgow Bridge (now being replaced) and, in the background, the grain bins that tower alongside the river, the Meyer farmhouse, a Route E barn, the Good Shepherd monument in the Glasgow Cemetery and four small-scale watercolors of rural scenes in Howard County. Also in the show is art reflecting Brown's travels to other parts of the United States and beyond. These pieces include "Loretto Chapel" (Santa Fe, N.M.), "Hiking" (Crested Butte, Colo.) and "Seascape, Ambergirls Caye" (Belize).

A native of Wisconsin, Brown came to Armstrong, Mo., in 1965 when her family bought a farm there. She graduated from Fayette High School and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in art education and later a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While working on her master's, she took classes from well-known Missouri artists and art educators Frank Stack and Robert Bussabarger.

"I consider myself an Artist-Teacher," Brown says in an artist's statement, adding, "Nine months of the year I was devoted to teaching and my students" "I loved having students who felt they had no talent in art progress through the year and create a piece of art they were proud of. I also had the privilege of teaching many students who were naturally gifted and have made careers out of their love of art."