I grew up in Detroit during parts of it’s heyday but mostly witnessed its declining years. My father was also an artist, first generation immigrant, WWII veteran, and the first in his family to attend college. He met my mother at Colorado College, also an art student.  I attended Cass Technical High School as an “Art and Science” major, a fully integrated school that offered technical and college prep courses. Shortly after leaving Detroit for California, the city was burned by riots, ravaged by racism and long standing social injustices. In 2011 the venerable 1922 building was demolished, joining the thousands of other disintegrating institutions in a dying city. Yet one of my most vivid memories was a visit to a Ford steel manufacturing plant on the Rouge River. From a catwalk high above the factory floor, rivers of molten metal were transformed into miles of steel plate, plate that would become part of the engines of prosperity for a nation.

In the midst of confusing times, of rapid changes in cultural norms, gender and racial expectations, and political platforms, I moved to San Francisco. Literally every aspect of modern life was undergoing massive transformation. In order to pay for college art courses and to cope with the chaos of my young adulthood, I enrolled in nursing school and obtained a nursing degree from Harbor College in San Pedro, California in 1975. The hard won stability of steady professional work allowed me to pursue my interest in art. In 1977 I met my future husband and moved to Baltimore where I earned a BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art 1981. After raising two children I returned to academic studies to obtain an MFA in sculpture from University of Maryland College Park, 2002. Metal had by then offered me an arena of greater expressive potential.  I also learned to draw from past experiences and memories, launching a journey of self-discovery and revelation as an artist in full, armed with new techniques with which to articulate my conflicted world. Two bodies of work: “Fantasy of Ability”, and “Hippocrates Promise” were heavily influenced by my experiences as a nurse, as are many of my recent polymer prints.

In 2006 I was a semi-finalist for the Trawick Prize, sponsored by the Bethesda Arts and Promotion, and the Sondheim Prize in Baltimore Md. I’ve exhibited my work in Beim Handelsmuseum, Bremen, Germany, the International Sculpture Center in Hamilton NJ, Loveland Museum in Loveland, CO, Adkins Arboretum and the Evergreen Museum in Baltimore. My installation work has been featured most recently in Striking Women: Mild as Steel, by Latifa Sayadi, 2013, published internationally, as well as American Craft Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, The Anvils Ring, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, and Bmoreart.blogspot.com. Curatorial projects include Go West, 2011 and more recently invited to curate “A Cause for Optimism/ Centers for Creative Energy” an exhibition  of prints from 7 regional academic institutions, York Arts, York Pa, 2014. This fall my work was featured in a solo exhibition titled “SKEPSIS” at the Rice Gallery, McDaniel College, 2015.

Breon Gilleran

Assistant Adjunct Professor of Art -Goucher College.

Studio at Area405 and Fairlee Forge in Chestertown MD.


Baker Artist Awards- my nomination


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