Gardner-Webb University Gallery Hosts Works by Professor Emeritus

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Biology Professor Dr. Les Brown Pursued Art Hobby After Retirement

photo of Dr. Les BrownBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Dr. Les Brown, Gardner-Webb Professor Emeritus, spent 40 years studying and teaching biology at the University. When he retired in 2005, Brown transferred his observations of nature to works on canvas, paper and in clay. His paintings, drawings and pottery will be displayed Jan. 16-Feb. 17 in the Tucker Gallery inside the Tucker Student Center on the Gardner-Webb University campus.

“This is my first show at GWU. I’m delighted to be able to share my work with my former colleagues at the place where I spent so many years teaching,” Brown observed. “It is also nice to be able to show students and the greater community that there is life after retirement, opportunities to explore new areas and keep the mind active.”

The public is invited to a reception for Brown, hosted by the GWU Department of Visual Arts, Jan. 19 from 4-6 p.m. in the Tucker Gallery.

Brown’s interest in art began when he was a child growing up in McDowell County, N.C. He drew scenes from the Blue Ridge Mountains, but art took a back seat to school and career. When he left Gardner-Webb, he and his wife, Dr. Joyce Brown, a GWU Professor Emerita in English, pursued their interests in art by enrolling in classes at a local community college. He also explored his hobby of nature photography and they continued to travel and write short stories and poetry. His favorite mediums are acrylic and pen and ink. He made pottery when the couple still lived in Boiling Springs, but with their move to his wife’s hometown of Troutman, N.C., he switched to drawing, painting and photography.

a painting of a bird“My favorite subjects are birds and landscapes, especially cultural or heritage landscapes including old buildings,” Brown offered. “Among the favorite paintings that I have done are those of my grandfather’s home at the foot of Linville Mountain (N.C.), and of Joyce’s earliest home place near Troutman. I am also interested in anything to do with the ocean: harbors, boats, seabirds, sunsets.”

Brown’s works are also displayed at the New South Gallery in Statesville, N.C. For more information about his art, visit his website at For information about the exhibit, contact the Department of Visual Arts at 704-406-4656 or email

Dr. Brown was interviewed about his artwork by Mark Thomas of WBT Radio. Click here to listen.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).