Brian Michael Reed

Clay County


James Madison University 2002-2006Yale University 2008-2010Center for Book Arts 2016-present


About Brian Michael Reed

I am a pictorial anthropologist who creates works of art in a broad range of mediums. The inspirations for many of my works originate from a reverence of nature. As a boy my wanderlust was constrained to the woods and creeks of my family’s farm and the images in my National Geographic Magazine collection. Maturing, I have made my dreams manifest by creating works based on experiences and interactions from living in different regions of the world and recording thoughts and observations from my daily life. In my art practice, artist-in-resident programs become an important tool in the creation of works. I create stories within my works containing a cross cultural self-portrait, chronicling my curiosities to understand history, myth and the symbolisms that cultures create to understand and express themselves. I am fond of exploring meaning through the associations and repurposing of materials. From the natural barn wood and locust fence posts of an American farm to found materials and debris from the 2011 Japanese Tohoku tsunami, my works reflect the joy of identifying inspirations in the undiscovered potent potentials each selected object contain within. With thoughtful intention, I transform objects to project my discovery of meaning I have encountered during my research.


(b. 1984 Charleston, West Virginia)

Brian Michael Reed grew up in the hills of Appalachia on his family’s cattle farm in West Virginia. A conceptual, multi-media artist, he draws his creative energy from his study of global religions, mythology and art, in addition to a wide variety of cultural experiences, including residencies in Mexico, Japan and China. Reed’s most recent solo exhibition In the Crosscurrent at the Huntington Museum of Art was the second part of a project begun in 2017, where Reed exhibited multi-media artwork in dialogue with the Huntington’s contemporary collection.
Reed is currently developing new works for his “From China to the Universe” Project to experience Chinese visual culture and history. His recent exhibitions with the Hanshan Museum of Art, Himalayas Museum of Art and the Shanghai Academy of fine art’s creative space feature works based on his experiences living in China for more than ten years. He has previously exhibited on Governor’s Island and at Chair and Maiden gallery in New York City, The OAS Art Museum of the Americas in Washington D.C. and the West Virginia Cultural Center in Charleston.
Reed studied with African and Afro-American scholar Robert Farris Thompson at Yale University in the History of Art Department, and earned a B.A. and B.F.A. in Painting and Art History from James Madison University. He has received awards from the West Virginia Division of Culture and the West Virginia Allied Artists Association. He divides his time between studios in Shanghai, New York City, and Ivydale, West Virginia.

[email protected]
Other Creative Skills

Mixed Media & Collage

Brian Michael Reed's Work

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