Westminster art photographer finds magic in the night sky and dawn – The Baltimore Sun

Ryan Brown is a local art photographer living in rural Westminster. He has been employed by book publisher Penguin Random House as a customer service representative since 2019, managing independent bookstore accounts in the Midwest.

Brown took standard art classes while attending Franklin High School in Reisterstown, with no extraordinary skills other than an eye for style and color. He was always surrounded by art and artistic people. His brothers Ralph and Russell are painters.

“My dear late friend Carlos Bates, who passed in 2012, was also a professional photographer in Reisterstown,” Brown said. “He was a very big influence in my life.”

ID Bats Inspired Brown said Bats inspired him to take chances with art and be fearless with it. Ryan didn’t start creating art and music until he was an adult.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Brown made music as a DJ. At the time, he was living in downtown Baltimore and working for Henry Wong, owner of N Die Music, a highly regarded and intimate classical and jazz venue on Charles Street. Because En Die Musik is just down the street from the Peabody Conservatory, students frequented it often.

Brown met a Peabody student, Jay Say, a trumpet player.

“He and I started hanging out and creating music together. It was a mix of music, including hip hop, improvisational jazz and fusion rock,” Brown said. “A few weeks later, we met another musician, Greg Gaither, who plays bass.”

They formed the band Audiofix and between 2000 and 2006 they played shows in Baltimore, Washington and Virginia, including local festivals such as Artscape and the Charles Village Festival. They recorded three CDs, one of which was recorded live at N Die Music.

After marrying in 2008, Brown and his wife moved to Westminster. At the same time, he started taking photos.

Brown worked at the Walters Art Museum for 17 years. There, he met many people and saw all the exhibits. He also got a chance to see the behind-the-scenes activities on a daily basis.

While working for Walters, Brown was able to study different art forms, styles and mediums. He began to pick and choose what he liked, preferring classic art such as Renoir, Picasso and Klimt.

In 2016, after two daughters, Brown and his wife separated. During this time, his wife, Terre, suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed.

“I was under a lot of pressure and stress, and I was scared about my family’s future,” Brown said.

After nearly two years in the hospital, Brown’s wife was finally ready to return home.

“I decided then that keeping our family together was paramount,” Brown said.

He was reunited with her, returned to Westminster and is now her carer.

“When you’re a caregiver, everything changes; you develop new insecurities, new routines, new vices. You question yourself, your level of empathy,” Brown said. “You sacrifice something every day.”

These life transitions gave Brown time to look more closely at the clouds, to take more pictures. He studied his photos from years past. He looked at everything. Brown’s photography was about alienation and that was changing.

“My art wants to live. Passion is in the sky. As I studied the images began to come to life. I found another world,” Brown said.

“Going through the pandemic, I was at home a lot, and there were times when I would stay up all night. If the moon was full and cloudy, I’d go outside and take pictures. Those pictures are some of my favorites; there’s something about the moon. There’s really nothing like it. . We’re so busy, there’s driving, consuming, working, and the world is going on, the sky is constantly changing. I’m just catching a moment in time.”

He began making developing photo series. One is called “deity” because the figures look like divine figures in the sky. The “Nocturnal” series includes images of the moon and clouds.

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“I like to shoot at night and early in the morning,” Brown said. “Catch the rising sun can be so magical. The colors are gorgeous in the morning.”

Another series he is working on is called “Trees”. These images are similar to trees made from earth and industry. Brown decided to print his images on large canvases.

“I want to print them all. I want people to see my pictures,” he said. “I think they are powerful images with great colors. I want people to decorate their homes with my prints.”

“My art is how to interact with nature. Akash is an excellent model. There is still natural beauty and being able to capture a piece of it is most inspiring and uplifting. It’s important to find anything beautiful.”

Brown is a member of the Carroll County Arts Council. He can be reached at [email protected]

Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. His column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life and Times.

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