The inaugural exhibit in the recently dedicated Peter T. Brown Gallery opened Thursday, May 15, with a reception for current and past students of Peter Brown’s photography courses. The gallery, housed in the D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center, was funded by more than $100,000 in donations from students.
Peter Brown has an extended relationship with the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies that expands beyond the school to the entire Houston community. Mary McIntire, dean of Continuing Studies, traces his history with the city: “Peter has been not only a superb teacher but also a mentor to more than a thousand adults with a passion for photography. Many of these people have gone on to become professional photographers, active as board members in the nonprofit arts scene and frequent contributors to photography exhibitions. It speaks so well of Peter that his current and past students – and these are non-credit courses – would contribute so generously, all the while keeping from Peter their plan to name the gallery in his honor. Peter has helped to create the vibrant arts scene in the city, and we are all grateful for his many contributions.” In 2008, in honor of his prolonged association with the school, Peter received the first Glasscock School Teaching Award in recognition of his 30 years as a community instructor for Continuing Studies.
The exhibit entitled “Over Time: Photographs from The Advanced Photography Workshop,” is composed of 40 photographs taken and submitted by students. The gallery will be host to exhibits of student work in more than one medium; however the inaugural exhibit was reserved for photography to honor the longtime instructor.
Peter Brown and Suzanne Street, a member of the course, curated the show. The photographs were products of Peter Brown’s workshop style that requires the photographer to devote his or her artistic efforts to a certain idea for an extended amount of time. In Peter’s own words, “This idea can be anything: a geographic area; a group of people; a particular genre of the medium; a passing but resonant thought – anything at all, as long as the photographer is passionate about what he or she is doing.” The result is a body of work that is extremely varied in subject, but also consistent in each photograph’s attention to detail, composition and consideration of the medium.
Past and present students, friends and family gathered on Thursday evening (before the final session of the current advanced photography workshop) to celebrate the accomplishments of both the photographers exhibited and their teacher. Peter toasted the exhibit and remarked on his experiences teaching the program, saying it was too enjoyable to count as work. He added that the new Anderson-Clarke Center, arts classroom and gallery will have a positive impact on the future of the photography program and this city. Peter also thanked the efforts and generosity of all who donated money and time to fund and coordinate the space including Julie Alexander, Lloyd Bentsen, John D. Chaney, Kelly Dempster, Patricia Eifel and Jim Belli, Tom Flaherty, Sandy Lloyd, Mary McIntire and Jim Pomerantz, Bill Walterman and the students of Peter T. Brown
The gallery is located between the Dean’s Commons and Hudspeth Auditorium in the Anderson-Clarke Center. This exhibit is only the first of many more to come.