Tyree Brown- Fine Artist
Allowing Jesus to navigate my artistry one day at a time. Through faith, it is God that helps me draw despite my disability.
Throughout my life God has protected me from many things that could have pulled me away from my passion, art. In junior high school my 8th grade teacher saw my art and noticed how strong of a passion I had towards it. He urged me to apply to the Center for Visual and Performing Arts at Suitland High School. I was blessed to be accepted into that high school where my artistic learning truly began.
During the summer of 2012, after my junior year of high school I applied to the Maryland Institute College of Art summer pre-college program where I studied painting. This program not only prepared me for the college experience, but really put an extra boost in the journey I would take for my artistic career.
In 2013 I graduated high school and attended the Corcoran College of the Arts and Design. I studied Fine Art, focusing on painting and drawing. I took drawing classes under the artist, Peter Bottger and painting classes under the artist, Janis Goodman. The Corcoran opened my understanding about art and further excelled my artistry by providing a platform of opportunities within the art world. I completed my first two years at the Corcoran before being injured in a car accident in 2015.
God sets a pace for us in our lives, at times we tend to run ahead too fast, so we forget God, but through it all God finds a way where we can run his pace and still get where we need to be. On May 16, 2015, I was in a car accident that injured my spinal cord leaving me tetraplegic also known as quadriplegic. Tetraplegia (or quadriplegia), a paralysis injury that resulted in partial loss of function in all four of my limbs. The beginning of my injury was really tough, not knowing the mobility I would recover. The injury drastically affected every area of my life. My dominant right hand was affected the most, the hand I once used to draw with couldn’t make any functional movements. Through occupational therapy I learned to function solely with my left hand even with its limited mobility.
God helped me improve my artistic skills within my left hand. Because of my injury, painting and drawing was difficult for me, but through prayer, practice and patience my skills as an artist developed once again. God also made a way for me to complete the necessary classes needed to receive my Associates Degree of fine Arts and in 2018 I received my AFA from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University. I was able to participate in my graduating class thesis show which included 6 portraits entitled, “With Process Comes Portraits”.
I’ve been an Artist for as long as I can remember, but I am learning every day how to be a better disability advocate and volunteer. In 2018, Nicole Jorwic, from The Arc, asked Shannon Minnick, the Director of Independence Now, who can speak at the Rayburn building concerning the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program policy hearing. MFP is a program that aims to help individuals transition from living in nursing facilities back into their communities, a program that has directly helped me. Shannon chose me and that was the beginning of my disability advocacy and volunteer work. Since speaking that day, I have been invited to multiple policy hearings and meetings to share my story and advocate for the rights of many people living with disabilities. On July 26th 2021, I was invited to the White House in celebrating the 31st anniversary of the ADA, where I spoke of the various programs the ADA made possible. It was an awesome experience and I truly thank God for the opportunity and I also thank those who made that event possible.
Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, May 2018
Associates of Fine Arts
Maryland Institute College of Art, Summer 2012
Pre- College Program, Fibers, Figure painting with Acrylic
Suitland High School, May 2013
Visual Arts Program
Exhibitions and Awards
RAW Artist Showcase, February 2019
An Artist collective Showcase
NEXT Thesis Show, 2018
Corcoran’s annual thesis exhibition which showcases graduating student’s work over the course of their final year.
Rising Star Award, 2018
An award given to an individual who overcame obstacles and accomplished goals despite their disability.
Meaning: Fine Art Exhibition, 2015
An exhibition for students majoring in Fine Art held at the Corcoran.
Achievement Award: Fashion, 2013
Award given by the head faculty member of their field to individuals who excel within their subject.
First Place, Congressional Arts Competition, 2012
First place winner of a district wide artist competition.