Bisa Butler is one of a few dozen artists who will be a part of the exhibit Wonderfully Made: African-American Fine Art in the Atrium at 6 Court St. in Morristown. On view Jan. 29-March 18, the other artists include Romare Bearden and Curlee Raven Holton, among others.
Ms. Butler has a wonderful, to-the-point artist statement:
“I want to make portraits of people that speak to the viewer on different levels. I want to be able to communicate who my subject is, their personality, and their lifestyle-not just what they look like. Using fiber as a medium allows me to say much more about my subjects. We respond to fiber differently than we do other mediums. When people see my work their first instinct is to touch it. Not only are their eyes getting a message, but their tactile senses are intrigued. Some of my work looks luxurious-you want to feel that smooth cool satin. Others are warm and make you feel comforted-you want to feel their softness. Still others are sturdy and worn, translating the roughness of the subject.
“I find people infinitely interesting, and I am always challenged to try and represent the multi-layers of the human psyche in an artistic medium.
“I made a quilt for my grandmother on her deathbed and I have been quilting ever since. With fiber art, I feel that I have finally tapped into a way to communicate emotion, art, heritage, tradition, and beauty to those who view my work.”
A painting major at Howard University, Ms. Butler started adding fabric to paintings “because Romare Bearden did that in some of his collages. Little by little the fabric took over the canvas.”