Bonnye Brown is a professional artist of over twenty-five years. She has exhibited art work nationally and internationally and has paintings in many private collections around the world. Bonnye is mostly known for her oversized, colorful, textured oil paintings of everyday people and musicians. Some of her favorite musicians that she has painted are Charlie Parker, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Claude “Fiddler” Williams. Bonnye also has a painting in the private collection of the Negro League Baseball museum. This painting has traveled the United States for fifteen years in the Negro Leagues “Shades of Greatness” Traveling Art Exhibit.
In Bonnye’s career as a professional artist, she is also known for creating community art projects in public spaces. Some of her past projects include being one of the founders of the Marlborough Youth Art Festival in Kansas City Missouri, developing the youth art zone for the Kansas City Jazz and Blues Festival, creating murals for the Chalk Festival at Crown Center, and also being a team leader for many mural projects in the urban community. Bonnye’s most recent public art project was being selected to build a float with her students for the A-Flat Youth Orchestra. This youth orchestra performed on the float that was created at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and won third place in the band/drill team competition and was televised nationally.
Along with being a professional artist, Bonnye is also the founder and creative director of the GIFT Art Program. She started this art program ten years ago for people who have a passion for the arts. Bonnye wanted to create an art program where people of all ages and diversities could come together and be respected for their abilities in art. Through this art program, she has had the opportunity to teach individuals of all ages and assortments in life through private art instruction, summer camps and specialty classes. Although Bonnye travels to many places to teach art, the home of the GIFT Art Program is in her studio in Greenwood. There she teaches elementary through high school art classes as well as specialty art classes for adults.
Bonnye believes that “everyone should have an opportunity to paint something beautiful in their lifetime”. She does her very best to touch as many lives as she can through art.