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Biography AARON QUINN BROPHY

Aaron was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on December 19, 1975, at about noon. Raised in a Quaker community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he spent much of his childhood climbing trees and building forts. His first word was Batman.

Aaron earned his International Baccalaureate Diploma from George School in 1993. Under the tutelage of his Aunt Nancy, Aaron honed his wheel throwing skills in the ceramics studio where he also made his first efforts at sculpting.

At age sixteen, Aaron traveled to Europe for the first time. During his month-long stay in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Aaron made several visits to the Hermitage Museum. These few days spent wandering the halls of the old palace, examining its world class art collection, remain etched in his memory. 

Three years later, Aaron made his second trip to Europe. He spent a month painting the Umbrian landscape in Italy. His weekends were occupied studying sculptures and paintings in Rome, Florence, and Venice.


Brophy in his home studio, 2004
Photograph taken by Shin-Yeon Jeon

Aaron's first encounter with the Belvedere Torso in Rome's Vatican Museum was an awe inspiring experience. From that moment on, he has been captivated by the aesthetics of time-scarred ancient figurative sculpture. Aaron spent the second half of the summer traveling through Europe by train. Filling numerous sketchbooks along the way, he visited almost every major art museum on the continent.

In May 1997 he graduated with degrees in Art and Economics from Alfred University. At Alfred he focused mainly on life-sized figurative ceramic sculpture, combining bronze and wood elements via epoxy. 

Aaron spent June and July 1997 as an artist-in-residence on Ossabaw Island just off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. He then spent several months touring the Western United States, Canada, and Mexico. On his way back East, Aaron accidentally found gainful employment in Casper, WY, where from October 1997 through February 1998 he was the Interim Curator of the Nicolaysen Art Museum.


Brophy inspecting a sculpture during an exhibition in Nicosia, Cyprus, 1999
Photograph taken by Greg Deftereos

 

In November 1997 Aaron was awarded an artist grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. This funding allowed Aaron the time and space to make art full-time through the spring and summer of 1998.

In August 1998, Aaron traveled to the Mediterranean in the guise of a Fulbright Scholar to spend an academic year as a visiting artist on the Island of Cyprus. Once arrived, he quickly bought a dirty green moped and settled in the old city of Nicosia. Living and traveling in the Middle East introduced him to a new brand of aesthetics. For ten months Aaron was awed by the golden icons of the Greek Orthodox churches. He was also inspired by the ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Greek sculpture abundant throughout the region.

For the academic year of 1999-2000 Aaron was a visiting artist at the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion in Washington, D.C. During this period he experimented with translucent plastic, sculpting torsos by the heat of a propane torch.

In autumn 2000 Aaron joined the art faculty at the Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. 

In 2002 Aaron was awarded the William C. Barbee Sculpture Prize from George Washington University.

In March 2003 Aaron traveled to Asia for the first time. He spent two weeks in China, lecturing at schools in Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai. Aaron also visited the site of the Terra Cotta Warriors near Xi'an.

In spring 2003 he was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant.

In summer 2003 Aaron began teaching at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, where he is presently an adjunct professor of art. In recent years he has mounted numerous solo exhibitions and has been featured in a variety publications. He continues to exhibit and lecture at colleges and universities across the United States. 

Even more recently, Aaron edited this biography in the third person.


Brophy in his home studio, 2007
Photograph taken by Adriana Echavarria

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