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Opening Tonight: Betty Brownlee, Works on Exhibit

Betty Brownlee, "Valium and Evan," 2012

A champagne reception will greet visitors tonight at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, as part of the opening for the art show, Betty Brownlee: Works on Exhibit. A longtime resident of Detroit, Brownlee has been an active part of the local arts scene for many years, having exhibited at The Detroit Artists Market, Meadowbrook Art Gallery, Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Center for Creative Studies, Kresge Art Museum, and many other venues. In addition, she currently teaches various art courses at Macomb Community College, and drawing classes at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Brownlee’s paintings are both vivid and dreamlike in nature, created with both an eye for detail, and a lofty imagination. Oil on canvas has been her primary medium since she first began studying art in the 1970s. Whether landscape, portrait, or still life, Brownlee’s paintings are joined by a common thread of figurative accuracy, counterbalanced by inventive, atmospheric elements: hazy layers of paint drips, a playfulness with texture and pattern, colors made brighter than would appear in actual life.

Says Brownlee of her work: “As a painter, I am interested in the visual world around me. I paint what I see, based on observation, bringing my own personal reflections and reactions to what I am viewing. Even as I am applying paint to canvas of this empirical view, emotions tend to infiltrate the pictorial image.  The intersection of this unintended emotional content with the rational, intellectual content is what interests me as I work.”

The Detroit Repertory Theatre seasonally hosts fine art exhibitions of Michigan-based artists in its Lobby Gallery. As the oldest professional alternative theatre in Michigan, the Rep is well known for its strong community ties, having survived the turbulence of Detroit’s socioeconomic woes over the past half century.

Betty Brownlee, "Par La Fenetre," 2010

The opening reception for Betty Brownlee: Works on Exhibit runs tonight (May 9) from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. It can also be viewed prior to or following any scheduled performance at The Detroit Repertory Theatre, which is now featuring the play Dead and Buried. The Detroit Repertory Theatre is located at 13103 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit MI, 48238. For more information, call the Rep at 313-868-1347, or visit their website.