Brenda Councill moved to Jacksonville in 1962 and grew up in Mandarin. She developed a love for painting at an early age. By age 7, an exhibition of her paintings was featured at the Jacksonville Museum of Arts and Sciences (now MOSH.) At 11, Councill designed and supervised the installation of her first piece of outdoor sculpture. In 1976, her work appeared on NBC’s Today Show in a segment with Gene Shalit.
Brenda’s interest in historic preservation led to a series of award-winning drawings featuring historic landmarks, including many in Mandarin. The late artist Charlie Brown praised the collection, saying “I have seen many, many pencil drawings in my long life, but never anything to compare with a magnificent drawing by Brenda Councill.” In the early 1980s, Brenda opened a studio to publish limited edition prints. In 1987 she opened a second studio in New York which was followed by a number of solo and group exhibitions displaying her paintings and sculptures. Corporate collectors of her art include AT&T, DuPont, British Airways, and Credit Suisse.
Brenda Councill currently resides in North Carolina, where she focuses on large-scale public art including murals and sculptures. She created one of the South’s largest painted ceiling domes at the Core Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, North Carolina. That work drew the attention of Martha Stewart who climbed the 100 feet of scaffolding to meet Councill. The mural was also featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Other examples of her massive murals may be found at Appalachian State University in North Carolina and Presbyterian College in South Carolina.
Her current project, Harriet Beecher Stowe in Mandarin, is a life-size bronze sculpture of the famed 19th-century writer and Mandarin’s most prominent former resident. A scale model is currently on display in the Stowe Gallery at Mandarin Museum.
See below for information on how you can support Brenda Councill’s display of public art in Walter Jones Historical Park.