Larry “Poncho” Brown is a native of Baltimore, MD. He started his first business at the age of 17 as a signwriter and has been a full time artist ever since. Poncho received his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD. His art, both fine and commercial, has been published nationally in Art Trends, U.S. Art Gallery, Images, Upscale, Ebony, Ebony Man, Essence, and Jet Magazines. His work is also featured in the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History Textile Series book entitled “Wrapped in Pride”. His work adorns the walls of the likes of Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Anita Baker, Susan Taylor, Bernard Bronner, Ed Gordon and Charles Bibbs just to name a few.
One of Larry Poncho Brown’s crowning achievements as an artist has been his dedication to the documentation of African American social and cultural issues. In pursuing his philanthropic goals, he founded Raising the Arts which has created over 74 images to assist non-profit organizations and African American organizations with artistic documentation and fundraising opportunities over the last three decades. Poncho’s focus has been to express his interests in afrocentric themes, and ethnocentric culture. His creations are a reflection of his personal values and pay homage to ongoing themes of unity, family, and spirituality. He has tirelessly created positive imagery that brings attention to the issues that concern our community. Whether covering health topics which effect our community such as HIV and AIDS, breast cancer, sickle cell disease, black mental health, etc., to social issues including fatherlessness, endangered youth, family hardship, or homelessness. Whether celebrating our diversity, encouraging unification, or recognizing perseverance, his works attempts find the beauty in every subject. Poncho has been commissioned to create images that document many cultural events, music and art festivals all across the nation. He has created images for several historically black institutions, church congregations, faith based organizations, and sororities.
Poncho was awarded “Artist of the Year” by the African American Visual Arts Association in 2000, the “Heritage Arts Festival Palette Award” in 2003, the “Save the Arts Award” as Museum’s Choice in 2010, and “The Jan Spivey Gilchrist Visual Arts Award” in 2013.
“The African American art realm has been pressing onward because of the positive images that have become a narrative of our perserverance. My works attempt to capture SOUL while purposely depicting positive representations of African American culture. Art and imagery are the strongest forms to challenge the perceptions of African Americans in our society.”-Larry Poncho Brown