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Sacramento Press 
P.R. Brown's The Known and Travel exhibit
by David Alvarez
Beatnik Studio window showing P.R Brown's The Known and Travel exhibit (Image by: David Alvarez)
     Opening night of “The Known and Travel” gallery show took place during Beatnik Studios’ Final Friday. The opening for the P.R. Brown exhibit turned out to be a family affair that showcased the talents of the Brown family. 
     The Known and Travel exhibit also included a silent auction and wine tasting with proceeds going towards transforming the lives of orphaned and poverty-stricken children.
The Known and Travel Fine Art Photography exhibit (Image by: David Alvarez)
     Several projects are supported by the nonprofit organization, 2Build 4Ward International. Friday’s event highlighted a major project, the building of an orphanage in Tuxpan, Jalisco, Mexico.
     The UN estimates that over 10 million orphans live in Mexico and 2x4 International, operated by state workers, has partnered with communities to build an orphanage that will serve as a home for some of Tuxpan’s orphans.
     Kristen Brown, CEO of 2x4 International, talked about the organization and the event. “We started 2x4 International with workers who also work for the Department of Education and Department of Health and it’s completely volunteer work. One hundred percent of our proceeds go to our projects.”
Kristen Brown, volunteer Ashley and Greg Pond (Image by: David Alvarez)
     Brown also spoke about work they’ve done in West Africa and other places. Information was displayed at the event. Several of the informational boards also featured artistic work by Brown’s sister Holly and their mother, Paula.
     Kristen Brown’s work through 2x4 International is inspirational. Their work has also spread to projects in the Caribbean, where they built an educational center in Kingston, Jamaica. They’ve reached out to Ghana, West Africa with a clothes, book and toy drive for the Children’s Hospital and extended their work to other parts of Latin America, Japan and Africa with the Children’s Global Connection Project.
     “Our major project is to build an orphanage,” said Brown. “We have three acres of land that was donated by Miguel de la Mora Morfin from Texas that’s located in Tuxpan in Jalisco and we have a Canadian architect committed to help with the project. One of the remaining things to acquire is the funds and that’s where the wine tasting and silent bidding will help.”
     Having volunteered for the Peace Corps, Brown said that 2x4 International wanted to make sure money gets to the people. She helped create a nongovernmental organization in Mexico to distribute donated funds.
     Several items are up for auction and will remain on the online bidding site until October 26. Log on to the website to view and bid on selected items.
Partial exhibit from The Known and Travel (Image by: David Alvarez)
     As I walked around the gallery, many people viewed the artwork on the walls and placed bids on silent auction items. Complimentary appetizers were served along with a wide selection of wines. Raffle tickets for several gift baskets were also sold.
      Besides being a photographer, P.R. Brown is also a graphic designer and Grammy nominated music video director. His exhibit showcased photography from his travels to India, Brazil and Cambodia, among other places. In the studio area of Beatnik a projector showed several videos that he directed. Highlighted videos included artists such as Slipknot, My Chemical Romance, Billy Corgan and many others.
      P.R. Brown founded Bau-da Design Lab and much of his work can be found there. His works dig deep into the subconscious and inspire images of dark scenery and themes. P.R. Brown’s work is pretty intense and very interesting.
      I talked to Greg Pond, gallery manager of Beatnik Studios, who then introduced me to P.R. Brown at the gallery. I was able to speak to him for a few minutes about his involvement in the event.
     “My sister contacted me to see if I wanted to do a show and I said absolutely, so the photography exhibit that’s going on will stay up throughout the month and that’s my work. Other pieces are from another sister of ours and some are my mother’s. It’s a family affair.”
      “I started as a graphic designer and I went into photography about 12 years ago and then into directing,” said Brown when asked how long he’s been working on his trade.
      I asked what he directed and Brown explained.
      “Music videos, commercials and I’m getting into features. Mainly the work that’s up here are the personal works that I do when I travel. It’s just me going out shooting. Other work is the fine arts side.”
      Besides the travel photographs hanging on one side of Beatnik studios (on the left as you enter the building), there are other photographs on the right side of the gallery of fine arts created at his studio.
The Known and Travel exhibit wall showing P.R. Brown's Fine Art Photography (Image by: David Alvarez)
      Brown is currently based out of Los Angeles and indicated he’s been there for 13 years.   Brown lives in Topanga and his studio is in West Lake.
     When asked if he’s had past showings or if he expects upcoming exhibits, Brown responded negatively.
      “Honestly my sister was the driving force. I normally don’t show my work. I’m a commercial photographer and that’s what I do for a living and it never occurred to me that I should actually have a gallery show. This is only the second time I’ve ever done a gallery show. I did one for a Marilyn Manson album I did years ago.”
     When asked which Manson album, Brown replied, “Holy Wood.” He continued, “I actually did all of them from ‘Antichrist’ through ‘Grotesque.’”
     Brown also said that the woman photographed on a couple of the larger works on the right hand side of the gallery were of Marilyn Manson’s girlfriend.
     Brown also said, regarding Manson, “He’s actually the reason I became a photographer because he was the first real person I ever shot.”
     Brown went on to say that he moved from New York to L.A. to do the shooting and did a photo exhibit as a result. That was the only other time he’s done a gallery showing.
      I asked him about his inspiration for the work he does and Brown indicated that he did not take photography classes and became involved out of frustration as a graphic designer.
      Some of the photography work was not suited for a project. Brown started to photograph images he wanted and fell in love with it. After graduating from college and 500 albums later, Brown picked up the camera and began using it for his art.
     Brown is a fascinating artist. I could have gone for hours talking to him about his work. As I viewed P.R. Brown’s work on the gallery walls, I was drawn to the videos he’s directed and was fascinated by those as well.
     Jerry Brown, Kristen and Paul’s father, was also on hand to show his support. Family support is always great to see and it showed the closeness of the Brown family.
     Once the live auction came to a close, a drawing was held for several bottles of wine and gift baskets.
Chelsea Berg, Kristin Brown and Greg Pond behind raffle prize winner (Image by: David Alvarez)
     Live music was provided by Katie Jane, Exquisite Corps and Alyssa Cox. Katie Jane started off the evening on keyboards playing several songs. Her sunny disposition and sweet vocals came through, making for a delightful set.
Katie Jane (Image by: David Alvarez)
     The magnificent sounds of Exquisite Corps are always a delight to experience and many of their fans showed their support by attending the show. Exquisite Corps continues to be one of those bands that doesn’t disappoint and are always fun to watch. During their set, Bryan Valenzuela reminded fans that they were going to be performing during the SAMMIES with members from the Sacramento Ballet.
Exquisite Corps' Bryan Valenzuela (Image by: David Alvarez)
      Alyssa Cox and The Flatland Band closed out the evening’s event. Many fans came close to the stage and cheered them on, showing their support. Alyssa Cox and the Flatland Band responded to fan support and put on a great show.
Alyssa Cox and the Flatland Band (Image by: David Alvarez)
     Final Fridays, hosted by Beatnik, is a great event for art and culture. In addition, some of Sacramento’s finest musicians come together to display their talents.
     Representing Beatnik, Wes Davis and Greg Pond helped things go smoothly for artists and guests and provided a great atmosphere for this gathering.
     The Known and Travel exhibit continues until October 26. Open online bidding will also continue until that date.
     Next Saturday Beatnik Studios will host Second Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. P.R. Brown’s exhibit will be showcased; check the Beatnik website for further information.

Building an Orphanage in Mexico
UNICEF, “Orphans and vulnerable children are deprived of their first line of protection - their parents. Although the reasons vary greatly, separation from parents and family is usually detrimental for the overall well-being and development of the child.”
·       UN estimates that there are 10 million orphans in Mexico. 
·       53% of Mexico's population of 104 million live in poverty (defined as earning less than US $2 a day).
·       24% live in extreme poverty (defined as earning less than US $1 a day).
·       The unemployment rate in Mexico is approaching 40% and there is little healthcare.
Life of Orphans
·       Orphans live in total poverty and must live & work on the streets to survive. This often means begging for food.
·       Hunger and eating garbage are most often their way of life.
·       Home means living on the streets which are dangerous.
·       There is no love or support to help them grow in hope.
·       Old and worn out clothes, shoes that don’t fit or no shoes at all and no toys are how these children live.
Donations to Date:
·       Donated land in Tuxpan Jalisco, Mexico by Mr. Miguel de la Mora Morfin from Texas (USA) to build an orphanage outside of Tuxpan, Jalisco Mexico next to a high school.
·       Top Architecture firm in Canada, 5468796 Architecture will design the orphanage.
Where Proceeds Go
·       100% of the proceeds will go directly to building the orphanage in Mexico.
·       Our 2x4 International Chief Financial Officer is originally from Tuxpan Jalisco, Mexico.
·       2x4 International is the parent non-profit to Hearts United for a Smile, a registered non-governmental organization in Mexico made up of 2x4 International Advisors, city officials and a well established legal team.
·       2x4 Advisors: Bertha Isaura Torres Osorio will head the project. Isaura has created/implemented strategies to alleviate health issues and to combat disease in rural areas through the municipality of Tuxpan, Jalisco. Victor Campos, a government contractor who works with Isaura and connected the heart of Mr. Mora Morfin with our efforts, will assist in the building of the orphanage.

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