Mixed Media on Fabric
by Bisa Butler
44 x 70
I was born in Orange New Jersey to a french teacher and a college president. I graduated from Howard University with a degree in art, and got my Masters from Montclair State University. Now I am a full time wife, mother, artist, and art teacher. My name is Bisa Butler and I am pleased to be here today with all of you!
I make quilts because they are made of the materials which draw me in. I started quilting while I was losing my grandmother and I have been doing it ever since. Quilts are comforting, they keep us warm , and make our beds soft. When we are wrapped in them we are protected from the cold. My quilts are made to hang on walls but as I make them I am able to communicate with the artwork. The cloth tells us a story of who the person was who wore it. A worn flour sack dress was worn by a woman who worked hard all of her life. I think “why not create a portrait made from the very fabric of her life?”
My art quilts tell a story based on who the image is of, and what it is made of, and also how it is sewn. If the edges are frayed and coming loose it tells of a rough and unpolished exterior. It communicates that this person did not have time for fancy things, but had barely enough to get by. While the cloth may be ragged the faces are strong and express resilience , strength, and character.