Bisa Butler


The Women's Studio

b. 1975

Brooklyn-based Bisa Butler is a fiber artist who is part of the African American quilting tradition. She makes intricate, kaleidoscopic quilts of life-size portraits of African Americans with vibrant, colorful, and richly patterned fabrics in an AfriCOBRA style.

Butler’s mother is from New Orleans, and her father was born in Ghana. She studied painting at Howard University and attended lectures by Black artists, one of whom was Lois Mailou Jones. At the university she was mentored by members of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA), who defined a black aesthetic of portraiture which combined political texts and the use of strong colors – ‘Kool-Aid’ colors – rather than the traditional European palette.  

When she was a student studying for her Master’s Degree at Montclair State University in New Jersey, she took a fiber art class and in 2001 made a quilt for her ailing grandmother…

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4 responses to “Bisa Butler

  1. David Linebarger

    Loved her work. Loved the video. Thank you for introducing her to us.

    Liked by 1 person

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