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Friday, July 12, 2024
The Windsor Star  Daily Star  clipping courtesy of Helen Turner Brown
  Although born in Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 1939 Helen Turner Brown calls Windsor her home. She moved to the town of Sandwich with her family at the age of five. Helen attended Western Elementary, Forester High School, W.D. Lowe and Bulmer Business College. While a student at Western Elementary school Helen won an art

The Windsor Star Daily Star – clipping courtesy of Helen Turner Brown
  contest and as a prize she received training in the arts under the late Ken Saltmarche (former curator of the
Windsor Art Gallery) at Willistead Manor. While attending Forester High School she won another art contest and received art classes from Ms. Philpott. She also studied at a school of Arts and Crafts in Detroit.

Helen Turner Brown has combined careers in art, business, fashion and history. She began her work experience in 1958 at J. L. Hudson’s in Detroit combining office duties with creating portraits. She moved on to Marianne Fashions, also in Detroit, doing their artwork and hand lettering. Helen worked at the Detroit News, in the sales department, in the late 1960’s until she became a mother for a third time in 1969.
Levi Coffin Homestead by Helen Turner Brown  photo courtesy of Helen Turner Brown
  This local artist is well known for her work in area of African Canadian heritage. From 1975 to 1984 Helen Turner Brown was on staff at the North American Black Historical Museum (NABHM) where she filled many roles including Project Manager, Bookkeeper, Tour Guide, Media Contact and Acting Curator. The
Levi Coffin Homestead
by Helen Turner Brown
  NABHM has one of her works on display as part of a large map which

documents escape routes on the Underground Railroad. Inset on the map is a work which Helen Turner Brown reproduced depicting Levi Coffin, known as the President of the Underground Railroad, with fugitives heading North. As with this painting many of her works of highlight African Canadian heritage.

Several of Helen Turner Brown’s paintings have been displayed prominently in the area. Her painting of Jesus and his disciples, which she reproduced in the 1970’s, is a prominent featured over the baptismal font in the Sandwich First Baptist Church. She also lent her talents to community projects including a multicultural themed mural in H. D Taylor public school and set paintings for Theatre Intrigue productions. Helen Turner Brown styles range from realistic to cartoons and she works in the following mediums: Acrylic, Charcoal, Oil, Pastels and Watercolours.

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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