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The Culture-Bending Paintings of Iona Rozeal Brown: Takoma Park Grad’s Artwork Gains Notice on Both Coasts
Montgomery College Today, Spring 03

Iona Rozeal BrownEver since graduating from Yale with a master of fine arts last spring, MC alumna Iona Rozeal Brown has not caught her breath. A few short months after graduating, her paintings were on display at a solo art exhibit in Venice, Ca. and in New York City, where they received positive reviews from the Los Angeles Times, which praised her “work of great intellectual energy.” The New York Times described her paintings as “having punch-line issues of their
own…. Colorful and well executed…” As if the newspaper kudos weren’t enough, the Studio Museum in Harlem bought one of her paintings from the New York show.

During a recent return visit to Montgomery College’s Takoma Park Campus, where she has also taught art, the paint was still drying on a Shoji screen that was due up in New York’s Chelsea art district for a gallery opening that very night. The urgency of the situation didn’t affect her—she seemed to thrive on the adrenaline rush. Before coming to Montgomery College, she graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor of science in kinesiology. In the years after, she bounced from job to job. “I was miserable,” she admitted. Brown always loved sketching, so she enrolled at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus to study advertising art before taking painting classes at the Takoma Park Campus. She went on to the San Francisco Art Institute, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.