Brown can’t help choking up about his current gig: He’s the resident artist at Whitehall-Yearling High School and Rosemore Middle School. As he paints murals in front of art students and helps lead art classes several days a week, he knows that he’s helping to shape the next generation of artists. “I didn’t see this coming at all,” said Brown, who in August was awarded the yearlong residency by the Ohio Arts Council as part of its Artist in Residence program. “The way I grew up, I have empathy for people who have obstacles. Art is a way to make a difference.” Especially sweet for him is being able to explain the power of art to children in his own backyard: He and his wife have lived in Whitehall — where they raised two children — for 33 years.
Mixed media painter Richard Duarte Brown can hardly contain his excitement when explaining his new job during a late-August interview at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. “I’m contracted with the state of Ohio to visit Whitehall [City] Schools three days a week for three different teachers … for a full, solid year,” he said.