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Dan E. Brawner Scholarship Fund for Artistic Development

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Dan Edward Brawner (b. 1938) is a constant source of inspiration to his family and friends because of his dedication to making, painting, carving, assembling, engraving, turning, inlaying, scrimshawing, bluing, browning, and inspiring others with his talent and generosity. 

A lifelong outdoorsman and artist, Brawner distinguished himself early in life through his art, craftsmanship, love of nature, and keen sense of humor.

Born in Adamsville, Tennessee, Dan Brawner grew up in a spirited, loving family admiring of a successful father Herman Edward, and his mother Cleo, a life-long painter. Two brothers and three sisters kept things extraordinarily lively around the house. Young Dan found added inspiration through drawing and painting and spending time in his mentor/uncle Frank Fitzgerald’s wood and metal shop. Encouraged to develop his art, he completed Art Instruction School courses through the mail and applied for and received the Ogden Foundation Scholarship for Academic Excellence from Western Kentucky University upon graduation of Warren County (now Warren Central) High School in 1956.

Under the tutelage of Professor Ivan Wilson, he continued to develop his art and design skills at WKU, minored in Spanish, and further distinguished himself as a scenic painter for the theater department, pin striper of cars, and hand-letterer of diplomas for the university. Dan graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education.

Upon graduation from Western, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee with his bride, Kentucky-native and Registered Nurse Shirley Brawner (née Barker). In Nashville, he launched a successful career as a graphic designer and creative director, shaping brands and messaging for national clients through his employment at publishing houses and major public relations firms. All the while maintaining an active studio practice, dedicating time for shaping objects in his workshop, and raising a close knit family of three children with his wife and best friend, Shirley. 

Dan E. Brawner’s impact on the community writ large is admirable; his professional work has been honored by the advertising & design industry, and his current work is collected nationally. Brawner’s creative output as an oil painter, gun builder, and maker of slingshots for grandchildren is prodigious. An avid reader, walker, maker, life-long learner, and friend…his life is worthy of imitation.

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 Last Modified 12/26/18