Dr. Myrah Brown Green is an Art Historian, author, professional quilter maker, lecturer, arts consultant and independent curator. Raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Myrah’s love for the arts began as a child while spending countless hours creating at the Community Art Center in the housing complex where she lived and frequent excursions to galleries, art museums, and other culturally rich institutions. She moved to New York to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
In 1980, Dr. Myrah joined the team of the Crown Heights Youth Collective, founded by her husband in 1978. Almost a decade later, together they co-founded the Collective Fellowship and Peace Academy where she served as principal, educating their four children and a host of others until they were ready to attend college.
In 2008, Dr. Myrah was appointed the prestigious position of Distinguished Lecturer of Art and Arts Advisor to the Dean of Humanities and the Arts at the City College of New York. She created interdisciplinary arts programming while building collaborations between the Harlem community and the Humanities and Arts Division. In 2010 Dr. Myrah was promoted to Executive Director of Arts and Culture in the Office of Government and Community Affairs. Public Art was one her priority. She founded City College’s first community art gallery; Windows on Amsterdam, curated the monthly Art on the Wall exhibitions where the works of faculty, students, staff and community residents were projected on the walls of the North Academic Center Building after sundown. She curated other major public art installations including the exhibitions, Harlem & the City which was the culminating of a week long series of campus wide events opening with a second line Louisiana style band and Joining Forces that included 90 artists ranging in ages from 8 to 90. The highlight of her curatorial experiences to date has been the Otto Neals Retrospective 2015 exhibition featuring 284 pieces of the master artist’s work, exhibited in six galleries simultaneously, throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. This project was managed by M B Green Arts Curating; founded by Dr. Myrah in 2014.
Photo Credit: Randall Duchaine c 2015
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M B Green Arts Curating is dedicated to documenting the legacy and re-invigorating the careers of under recognized emerging and mid to late career professional artists in New York City and the tri- State area. Dr. Myrah has access to a team of professional curators, scholars, registrars, artists, photographers, film-makers, archivists and art handlers ready to focus on the artists. Through professional development, M B Green Art Curating, also creates initiatives to train prospective candidates to the best practices in the industry so that they can become marketable in the art world. The focus of the professional development is on people of color who have limited access to the arts industry. Dr. Myrah’s formula is to create a fully integrated experience for the artist and the community by featuring the artwork in neighborhood galleries, corporation lobbies, offices and cultural institutions both here and abroad. Over the past two years, Dr. Myrah has collaborated with Global Arts/ Media (Global Arts) to provide tours to Cuba. Her visits there have also afforded her the opportunity to connect the Cuban artists and historians with those here in the United States, so that exchange and collaborations can be made between the two cultures. Dr. Myrah has been appointed to the Mayor's Cultural Plan Citizen Committee which stems from the office of NYC Department Affairs' Cultural Plan for the City of New York.
Dr. Myrah is a professional quilt maker who has been teaching textile arts for over thirty years and all levels of quilt making for more than two decades. Her quilts are in a number of private collections including the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C and Michigan State University. Her quilt exhibitions include the international Arts in Embassy Program, a number of national traveling exhibitions including And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations, Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts and Textural Rhythm: Constructing the Jazz Tradition, Parallel Threads at the New England Quilt Museum, Six Continents of Quilts hosted by the American Craft Museum at the Payne Weber Gallery, and Cultural Continuum: From African Art to African-American Quilts at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York. Dr. Myrah was commissioned by the City College of New York to design fourteen double-sided quilt banners that hang in their historic Great Hall.
Dr. Myrah is the author of Pieced Symbols: Quilt Blocks from the Global Village (Voyageur Press, 2009) and African Rhythms. Rodale Successful Quilting Library: Choosing Quilting Designs. (Rodale Inc, 2001). Her quilts appear in numerous publications including, And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations, (Schiffer Publishing, 2014), Homage to African American Artists Calendar (U.S. Department of State, 2010), Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired By President Barack Obama. (Voyageur Press/ Quayside Publishing, 2010), Textural Rhythms: Constructing the Jazz Tradition (Paper Moon Publishing, 2007) and Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts (Random House, 1996). Two of Dr. Myrah’s quilts are featured in Linda Seward’s, The Art Quilt Collection: Designs and Inspiration from Around the World. (Soho Publishing,2010). Dr. Myrah has also contributed to Spike Gillespie’s Quilts Around the World: The Story of Quilting from Alabama to Zimbabwe (Voyageur Press, 2010) by designing twenty quilt blocks and their patterns inspired by quilts indigenous to countries from around the globe. Currently, Dr. Myrah is completing the book, Brooklyn on My Mind: Black Visual Artists from the WPA to the Present due to be released in 2016.
Dr. Myrah has earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Art History. She continues her academic research in The Presence of African Symbols in Western Art that has expanded to the Presence of African Symbols in North American Quilts. Myrah regularly presents her scholarship at conferences, colleges, and art institutions which has included, My Underground Railroad and how I got Through (Michigan State University, 2013), The Presence of African Symbols in North American Quilts (Pratt Institute, 2013), A Quilter’s Journey (the Figge Museum, 2013), The Global Quilt: Cultural Contexts conference at the Quilt Study Center & Museum 4th Biennial Symposium (the University of Nebraska, 2009), and Quilts and the Jazz Tradition, (the Museum of the American Folk Art in New York City, 2008).
Copyright 2014, Myrah Brown Green. All rights reserved.