Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Morton Brown

Morton Brown

Artistic Category Artist
Career Level Professional
Experienced With Collaboration, Commissions, For-hire services, Leading workshops, Lectures, Public art, Speaking engagements, Teaching engagements

My work is derived from nature, but as seen and remembered through a frenetic mixture of abstract expressionism and impressionism, improvised upon the canvas.


I am a formalist. While I am inescapably drawn to forming a landscape within the picture plane, I also like to see paint be paint, line be line, and texture be texture in the finished work. Color is a tool, bludgeon, friend, and enemy. Sometimes sweet and sometimes saccharin—sometimes describing an emotion or natural element, but color is always the great undertow in my work.


Like the energy of the wind, clouds, rain, and the movement of trees-I like the energy of the paint to shine/survive throughout the work. The work, then, is evidence of the process that created it—from my first brush stroke, to the last—all are still there (well, mostly) in the finished painting. It’s this informality of allowing the process to be recorded in this way that makes paintings interesting to me (whether mine, or others).


My work is sometimes light, and airy—other times, heavy and dense. Sometimes it begins to feel like an archaeological dig, and/or ancient objects, themselves: layers of paint/strata of history built up to an overture, crescendo, then reprise--often familiar but hard to define, and even harder to describe in words.


This is why we paint.

Morton Brown Bio

Morton Brown is a visual artist operating in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with his studio work in abstract expressionist painting, his professional areas of special interest and expertise include managing procurement of conservators and conservation of outdoor works of art; administering artist selection and management; facilitating collaborative art-making processes with artists, architects, community and commissioning agents; space planning for the integration of works of art in the landscape and managing the creation and commission of public art.

Current professional projects include:

Facilitating Bakery Square Public Art project

Facilitating the commission, artist selection and production of an exterior facade mural for the world headquarters of Duolingo, the language-learning app company.

Managing, for Allegheny County Parks Foundation, the restoration and relocation of 12 monumental sculptures in Hartwood Acres Park. This multi-partner project includes comprehensive re-imagining paths, artwork locations, and experience, while creating new opportunities for accessibility, stormwater management, and sustainable lighting and other practices within proximity to the historic Hartwood Mansion.

Originally from Arkansas, Brown completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Central Arkansas in 1996. While he earned his Master of Fine Arts in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Brown also worked as a mural artist with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program completing two murals before moving to Pittsburgh in 2001. From 2003 to 2007, Brown helped create and administer the Sprout Public Art Program, a program of the nonprofit Sprout Fund. During Brown’s tenure, the program hired local artists to paint more than 30 community murals throughout the region.

From 2009-2015, Brown served as the Public Art Manager of the City or Pittsburgh. In this role, Brown completed all activity under the oversight of the City’s Art Commission, including approval of proposals for new permanent structures on City property, maintenance of the City’s collection of art, conservation and relocation of artworks and the creation of new permanent and temporary works of art.



Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212




  • Painting
  • Public Art
  • Sculpture
  • Social Practice / Civic Engagement


  • Abstract
  • Oil Paint