Somehow ,This Is My Livelihood

todd brown work

More and more, I have been describing myself as an artist.  I had always linked that title with some external indication, like income, publication, or time spent in the studio.  Only recently have I come to realize how integral every aspect of my life is to the portion of it which is art.  Removing or replacing any part of it might be detrimental to my process.  There is a balance that allows me to pay the bills while building my resume and exploring my ideas.  My background and work in graphic design has improved the ever growing need for marketing my work.  My construction background and workshop have allowed my photographic work to develop into sculpture.  Some of my first photo-shoots took place in the abandoned buildings that I was remodeling.  My inclination towards architecture leads me to photograph and create space.  This is my version of living an artistic life.  Everything is taken together.

Like everyone else, I am connecting memories to ideas.  Thankfully, I have ways to show them.



table/pitcher/oranges 60″ x 1200″ Collection of Kathy and Marc LeBaron

For me, sincerity is a process of immersion.  My models are my friends (I recently traded modeling time for building a wardrobe), my preferred scale for prints is based on making the characters larger than life and the perimeter of the frame large enough to evoke a room.  These large scale prints can reach the sizes such as 80″ by 120″, and I print them by means of photo transfer, a process that requires good deal of had rubbing of paper and panels with the help of my wife, leaving us with smooth sore fingers and palms but a strong attachment to every finished piece.  If you see one, you will note that it looks worn, imperfect.  If it’s large, you might imagine stepping into a room.  Within that room/space are my ideals and fears.  Like everyone else, I am connecting memories to ideas.  Thankfully, I have ways to show them.

About Toddtodd brown
Todd Brown is an artist, carpenter and designer living and working in the Hastings, NE area.  Todd graduated, along with his wife, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a masters degree in Architecture.  He began showing his work publicly 5 years ago.  Since, he has had solo shows, been awarded Juried prizes and has been profiled in several publications.  His work can be found in several prominent collections including a large photographic sculpture in the Karen and Robert Duncan Sculpture Garden.  Todd is the featured artist at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, NE, October 11, 2014 thru January 4, 2015.  He is represented by Modern Arts Midtown of Omaha.





Building Community Is My Livelihood

Making Meaning: Heather’s Story
These things inspire me: Thomas Jefferson’s design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s sculpture “Torn Notebook” on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Willa Cather’s brilliant novel of loss and survival on the Great Plains, My Antonia. Architecture, art, history, and literature all make meaning in our lives. Whether we know it or not, whether we recognize it or not, they frame our outlook and inform our understanding of the world around us. "Torn Notebook" by Coosje van Bruggen

I think these works and others like them are so important because they help us relate to one another, to our history, and to our future. As a fourteen year old growing up in Connecticut, at my mother’s suggestion, I read My Antonia, and never forgot Cather’s descriptions of the people and landscape of the Plains. I did not know then that I too would migrate to Nebraska many years later, but Cather’s story captured my imagination. One image stood out for me then and still does today: the blue vastness of the sky and the exhilarating openness of the prairie. Today, the story of Cather’s Nebraska is still being discovered, re-written, and re-imagined, as Cather documents and letters are being made public and published.

I have spent my professional career building up organizations that make the arts and humanities come alive in our communities. Raising funds to support these organizations and to help build our communities is fulfilling and important work. So, my livelihood is fundraising and my passion is the arts and humanities. Supporting the arts and humanities makes the world a better place for us, for our children, and for those who come after us.

About HeatherHeather Thomas
Heather Thomas is the Director of Development for Humanities Nebraska. She works with board members and others to raise funds to support HN’s statewide programs. Heather graduated from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) with an interdisciplinary major in Russian studies. She was the membership coordinator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and spent 10 years in development at the University of Virginia, as director of development for the University’s School of Architecture and director of development for Historic Preservation. She currently serves as a trustee of the Sheldon Art Association.