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Remembering Joan, November, 2020. George Adams Gallery.


Joan Brown in her studio, c. 1981.

Image courtesy George Adams Gallery Archives, photo: Lee Fatherree.

We are pleased to share our video series reflecting on the impact Joan had as a person and an artist, both during her lifetime and after her death. Now, thirty years after her passing, we speak to those who knew her well, or only a little, but for whom Joan - either in her person or through her paintings - has continued to resonate. In the coming weeks we will continue to share shorts from the series, each touching on a different aspect of Joan’s personal and professional life and the rich legacy she leaves behind.

To start off the series we hear from friends, family, students, colleagues and admirers on what made Joan, JOAN. Among those who shared their thoughts with us are Brown's former students and colleagues, artists Brian Calvin, Enrique Chagoya and Katherine Sherwood; friends Sandra Shannonhouse and Mary Julia Klimenko, also a former model of Brown's; curators Philip Linhares, Jenelle Porter and Jodi Throckmorton; and Mike Hebel, Brown's widower.


We continue with comments about Joan’s art, the impression it made, its place in the wider community and how intertwined it was with her own life. Artists and colleagues including Katherine Sherwood, Brian Calvin, David Simpson and George Lloyd share their perspective as well as friends Sandra Shannonhouse and Mary Julia Klimenko; curators Janet Bishop, Jodi Throckmorton, Jenelle Porter and Philip Linhares; and Mike Hebel.


In the third installment of our video series we explore how the context of the Feminist movement related to Joan in her life and how her individuality and the complex ways her own feminism manifested itself in her work. Curators Jodi Throckmorton, Jenelle Porter and Janet Bishop share their thoughts, along with artists Katherine Sherwood, David Simpson, Brian Calvin and Don Ed Hardy, friends Sandra Shannonhouse, Mary Julia Klimenko and Lee Bender, a fellow swimmer and a co-defendant in a suit filed by Brown to integrate the San Francisco rowing clubs.


In the fourth installment of our video series we consider Joan as an individual who was independent and determined in all facets of her life, the lasting effect her convictions had on those around her, and the way she translated her personal and spiritual beliefs onto canvas. Artists Brian Calvin, Enrique Chagoya, Don Ed Hardy, David Simpson and Katherine Sherwood share their thoughts, as well as friends Lee Bender and Mary Julia Klimenko; curators Janet Bishop, Philip Linhares and Jodi Throckmorton; and Brown’s widower Mike Hebel.



To conclude the series, we consider Joan’s legacy today and how the freedom she found in both her life and art has proven to be so influential and continues to inspire a new generation of painters. We hear from artists Katherine Sherwood, Brian Calvin and Enrique Chagoya; curators Jodi Throckmorton, Janet Bishop, Jenelle Porter and Nancy Lim; and Brown’s widower Mike Hebel.