Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Refugee, Group on White

Refugee: Bill Brown

The following information about this past Turchin Center exhibition is kept here for archival purposes only. This exhibition is not currently on display. View current and upcoming exhibitions.

Friday, June 7, 2019
Friday, July 5, 2019 (6:00pm - 10:00pm)
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Gallery B

Bill Brown; Bitter Sweet Sea; Acrylic and steel on panel; 48" x 24"

According to the Global Citizen there are an estimated 25.4 million refugees worldwide and that number is growing. The UN Refugee Agency reports that of that number, over 52% are children. There are 5 primary reasons why people become refugees:

  1. Religious/National/Social/Racial/Political Persecution
  2. War
  3. Gender/Sexual Orientation
  4. Hunger
  5. Climate Change

Regionally beloved artist and philanthropist, Bill Brown wanted to do something to help relieve this international crisis. The sculptor turned to what he knows best—creating his Refugee Series. Each freestanding metal piece in the series begins with a figurative form perched on a platform that metaphorically references the refugee journey: a rocking boat, an isolated rooftop, a beloved homeland. Brown’s hope is that his work will encourage active and engaged solutions; to that end, he donates a percentage of each sale from the series to organizations that directly address the international refugee crisis: Proactiva Open Arms, the American Refugee Committee, and the International Rescue Committee. Further information regarding sales of artwork and the organizations affiliated with the project may be obtained on the Anvil Arts website:

This exhibition is sponsored in part by the AJ Fletcher Foundation.

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Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Refugee Pair in Garden

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Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Refugee Pair

Artist’s statement

I was fortunate to grow up with a daily connection to the arts; exposed to and participating in the creative process with established and emerging artists. This foundation of artistic experience and knowledge began my life-long artistic exploration. I have been a full-time studio sculptor since 1978, dividing my artistic energy between creating individual sculptures and sculptural commission work.

The sculpture I create is an artistic transformation of life experiences, and my interpretation of the natural and spiritual world around me. My work involves the exploration of the plasticity of steel, and the challenges of transforming materials, thought and energy into art.

— Bill Brown

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Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Bill Brown, Working in his Studio

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Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Refugee, Work in Progress

About the artist

Bill Brown is a sculptor and painter who lives and works in Linville, North Carolina. He was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1955 and moved with his parents to North Carolina in 1960 when he was just 5 years old. We think that makes him a North Carolinian! His sculptures are featured in many private and public collections and have appeared in numerous exhibitions and invitationals in museums and galleries across the United States. Brown has participated in artists’ residences at Penland School of Crafts, the Vermont Studio Center and the Windgrove Center in Australia. He often shares his extensive knowledge of sculpture at various conferences and educational facilities. Bill Brown will juror the 33rd annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition for An Appalachian Summer Festival and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts during the 2019-2020 season.

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Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Refugee Pair (top detail)

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Bill Brown, Anvil Arts, Refugee Pair (bottom detail)

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Coronavirus information

Based on guidelines announced by Appalachian State University, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts has revised its schedule. Schedules and guidelines are subject to further change in the coming days and weeks. All schedule changes specific to public events at the Turchin Center will be posted on the Turchin Center’s website and on Facebook.

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