By Talbert Toole
Local artist Adrienne Brown has had a passion for the visual arts since she was 4-years-old.
Throughout her high school years Brown participated in studio art classes, and following graduation she enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago. However, she only attended the Institute for a year due to the cost of tuition, she said.
“I really started focusing on [art] in my twenties after moving to the Virgin Islands,” she said. “I sort of lived on the beach and painted pictures.”
In 2008, Brown decided to pack her bags and move to Mississippi. She now lives with her husband Taariq, the manager of Grit in Taylor, and their four daughters in Water Valley.
Describing herself as an impressionist artist, Brown’s favorite medium to pursue is graphite.
“I love the simplicity of graphite on paper,” she said. “There’s something about holding a mechanical pencil in my hand and just drawing.”
Angie and Nick Sicurezza—owners of Grit—approached Brown to do a mural in their restaurant before it officially opened.
Cups, located on West Jackson Ave., was purchased by Bryan and Camille Spillman this January and over spring break they completely changed the décor with a rustic motif. They also asked Brown to add her artistic flair to the newly redecorated espresso cafe.
The chalk mural took approximately three nights to complete, she said. When Cups would close for the night, Brown would begin her work.
Standing on a ladder every night for a few hours, Brown etched out Oxford monuments onto the cafe’s wall.
“It was more physically taxing having to draw on a ladder for five hours,” she said. “Every morning I would wake up and be like ‘Wow, that was a lot.’”
Oxonians can currently view more of Brown’s art at the Powerhouse with her collection of paper dolls. She custom makes the dolls to match a customer’s description.
Stay tuned: Brown said she has many more projects in the works to implement around town.