How do artists reinterpret the past for new meaning in the present?
Contemporary artist Bisa Butler creates vivid, colorful quilted portraits that center and celebrate African American life and culture. Drawing imagery from found photographs and titles from films, literature, and other sources, Butler mines the archive to critique exclusionary histories and create new visions for the future. Art historian, independent curator, and author Dr. Myrah Brown Green documents the contributions of African American visual artists, including quilters, and creates quilts that draw on African American and indigenous fiber art traditions. Join us for a conversation about their art and activism, the exchange of generational memory, and their responses to selected works from the museum’s permanent collection.
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About Attending Virtual Programs:
This program will be held over Zoom. Please note that after registering for the program, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions and the Zoom link for joining the program via computer or mobile device at the end of the email under “Additional Information.” Learn how to download the latest version of Zoom to your computer or mobile device prior to joining the program.
About the Speakers:
Bisa Butler was born and raised in New Jersey, the daughter of educators. A formally trained artist, Bisa earned her BFA from Howard University and MAT from Montclair State University. After teaching for 13 years, Bisa transitioned to working as a full time artist, and is now represented by the Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem. Bisa has shown her art across the US and internationally and her work has been acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Kemper Museum of Art, The Orlando Museum of Art, The Newark Museum, The Toledo Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Bisa will have two solo museum shows in 2020; at the Katonah Museum of Art and at The Art Institute of Chicago. Her work will also be included in two important museum quilt exhibitions; at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and The Toledo Museum of Art.
Dr. Myrah Brown Green is an art historian, author, arts consultant, lecturer and independent curator. Raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Myrah’s love for arts began as a child while spending countless hours creating at the Community Art Center in the housing complex where she lived and frequent excursions to culturally rich art institutions. Dr. Myrah moved to Brooklyn to attend Pratt Institute, later receiving a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in world symbols. Dr. Myrah is also a professional quilt maker who has been quilting and teaching textile arts for over thirty years. Her quilts are in a number of prestigious collections including the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C. and Michigan State University. Over the past ten years, Dr. Myrah has devoted much of her time assisting artists of color document and archive their personal art-work and private collections. Her award-winning book, Brooklyn on My Mind: Black Artists from the WPA to the Present, was released in November of 2018.
Image: Bisa Butler, The Warmth of Other Sons, 2020, (detail), Courtesy of the Claire Oliver Gallery.