In 2007, Nigel Brown gifted 44 of his works to the newly constructed Tauranga Art Gallery, which form the basis of The Brown Years exhibition.
Brown supported the development of a public art gallery in the city. He spent his formative years growing up in Tauranga and was well aware of the region's lack of cultural assets, and the lack of recorded history of its visual culture. The Tauranga Public Library was the venue for his first exhibition.
The Brown Years is Nigel Brown's story; it is also specifically a Tauranga story. Spanning several decades the exhibition maps Brown's development as an artist through his Tauranga imagery.
Beginning with work made as a youth and culminating with the expansive 2008-09 panels hung in the Atrium, this exhibition is also very much about Brown's perception of his hometown, then and now, his generous gift to the city and his development as one of New Zealand's best loved artists.