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Black History Month Spotlight: Larry "Poncho" brown


Larry "Poncho" Brown is an accomplished artist with a career spanning several decades. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 19, 1962, Poncho earned his nickname as a child because of his admiration for the "Cisco Kid" television series. As a teenager, he noticed his eye and passion for art and started a signwriter business. This marked the beginning of his lifelong artistic journey.


Poncho primarily works in acrylic, although he uses a variety of mediums and styles to express his interests in Afrocentric themes, Ancient Egyptology, and dance. Poncho's fine and commercial artworks have been featured nationally in popular magazines such as Upscale, Ebony, Essence, and Jet. He is known for his "Black is Black" series which was the first to address the subject of colorism in African American art. Brown gained national recognition during "The Golden Age of African American Art" (1985-2000) with his practice of making his art accessible to the masses through direct participation in community art and cultural festivals.

His paintings have graced the walls of famous personalities such as Dick Gregory, Anita Baker, and Susan Taylor. During his illustrious career, he has also produced visual images for dance productions, book cover art, and even curated festival art for the Western Maryland Blues Fest and the Capital Jazz Fest. His work has also been in some of black culture's most popular television shows and films, including "Soulfood," "The Wire," "A Different World," "In The House," and "Avalon."


Brown has received several awards and recognition for his work. He was awarded Artist of the Year by the African-American Visual Art Association in 2000 and received a Black Music & Art Award in 2008. He is also the youngest inductee into the Carver Vocational-Technical High School Hall of Fame.


He continues to live and create in Baltimore. He curated the "MASTERS" Art of the Ancestors, a salute to historical Baltimore African-American visual artists. The exhibition featured over 15 visual artists representing the Baltimore African American art scene and their contributions to the city. Many artists acquired national and international acclaim but were largely unrecognized within the art community. He is also the founder of the non-profit, Raising the Arts, which supports non-profit and African-American Organizations.

Larry Poncho Brown is a trailblazer in the African American art scene and a great representation of the rich legacy of Baltimore creatives. It is a privilege to have an artist of his caliber hail from Baltimore. It is fitting to celebrate his achievements during Black History Month, and we look forward to his continued influence in the art world.


Visit Brown's website, www.larryponchobrown.net, to find out more and view more of his artwork.

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