Bisa Butler

This week I have been sharing the work of Brooklyn-based artist Bisa Butler over on the Curated for Kids Instagram page. If you’re interested in seeing art throughout the week, this is the best place to find it!

Bisa Butler is a Brooklyn-based quilt artist. A self-proclaimed storyteller, Butler creates quilts, a medium steeped in tradition within the African American community. Her quilted portraits are comprised of fabrics from her father’s homeland in Ghana, as well as Nigeria and South Africa. Butler uses unidentified, undated photographs as references for her portraits, scaling her quilts to be lifesized.
The unwavering gaze of the figures is meant to capture the viewer’s attention and elicit a
dialogue between artwork and viewer.

All photos courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery, who represents Bisa Butler.

Discussion for Kids

  • What do you think is the purpose of using such bright colors and bold patterns?

  • Why is it important that Butler uses fabrics sourced from countries on the African continent?

  • How do the expressions on each portrait affect how you interpret that individual’s personality? Do they seem friendly? sad? angry?






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