Pride and Presence: The Newport Art Museum to present a talk with quilt artist and storyteller Bisa Butler
The Newport Art Museum will present Pride and Presence: A Virtual Artist Talk with Quilt Artist and Storyteller Bisa Butler on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The conference costs $ 15 general admission, free for students up to 18, and will be delivered virtually via Zoom. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link, and is available at newportartmuseum.org/events.
A quilt is a powerful object. Handcrafted, even the most minimal duvet design is a material record of the life, inspirations, tastes, history and beliefs of the maker and recipient.
Bisa Butler’s glorious contemporary quilts use the medium to pick up the stories of known and unknown African-American individuals. The vibrant colors and patterns of African fabrics from her ancestral Ghana, batiks from Nigeria and prints from South Africa create a visual cacophony, blissful intensity, brilliant beauty and a sense of celebration. His textile portraits immortalize cultural figures and anonymous individuals. Dignified and royal, their unapologetic maximalism ultimately makes it impossible to look elsewhere, ignore or forget them.
The Newport Art Museum is pleased to partner with the Sankofa Community Connection from Newport, whose mission includes developing school programs that recognize and celebrate the cultural heritage of African Americans in colonial Newport, to welcome renowned artist Bisa Butler for a virtual artist talk followed by questions and answers .
About Bisa Butler
Bisa Butler (b.1974) is an African-American quilt artist who has been making quilts since the mid-1990s. A fine arts graduate from Howard University, Butler left an artistic teaching position to focus on her works. At 47, Butler’s work has touched audiences around the world. Her quilt portraits were exhibited in late 2020 at the Katonah Museum in New York, and currently 20 of her quilts are on display in a solo show, Bisa Butler: Portraits, at the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been recognized by Smithsonian Magazine, artnet News, Forbes, Essence magazine, The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, The New York Times, Artforum International, among others. She lives and works in New York.
About Sankofa Community Connection
Sankofa Community Connection works to break down inequalities and injustice within the Newport community and schools. Through their work, they strive to educate, encourage and educate those members of the Newport community who are not often heard. They seek to increase prominence within Newport County’s African American community through community initiatives that focus on increasing social cohesion, dialogue around impact, and solutions to institutional racism. and oppression, and the expansion of historical content taught in schools to reveal, honor and celebrate the cultural heritage of early Newport African Americans. Since its inception, Sankofa Community Connection has inspired change for the better in the community and is often sought after for its expertise in culturally relevant programming, educational materials and consulting services by community members, schools and various organizations.
About the Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum was founded in 1912 on the belief that art is a civilizing influence and an essential element in creating vibrant communities. The founding members included Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Maud Howe Elliott, Helena and Louisa Sturtevant and Edith Wetmore. The first exhibition featured works of art by local artists, as well as internationally renowned artists including George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, and Childe Hassam.
By 1915, the founders of the organization had purchased a suitable building for their art classes and exhibitions – the John NA Griswold House on Newport’s famous Bellevue Avenue. This exceptional example of “stick style” architecture was Richard Morris Hunt’s first commission in Newport and was completed in 1864.
In 1920, a second gallery building designed by the New York architectural firm Delano and Aldrich and dedicated to the memory of artist Howard Gardiner Cushing, opened just south of the Griswold House. The Sarah Rives Hall and Morris Gallery were added in 1990, providing the museum with additional gallery space as well as a temperature-controlled collection storage area.
In 2005, the Art Museum embarked on a decade of renovations to the historically significant Richard Morris Hunt Building. Today, the beautiful 3-acre Art Museum campus includes the Griswold House, the Cushing Building, and the Museum School located in the Coleman Center for Creative Studies. Visitors from all over the world enjoy the art museum, its public programs and special events every year.
The permanent collection includes over 2,700 works of art with a focus on American artists from the 18th century to the present day. Rotating exhibitions are installed each year and over the years have included artists as diverse as Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, William Trost Richards, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol. Recent temporary exhibitions have featured works by Diane Arbus, George Condo, Lalla Essaydi, Shara Hughes, William Kentridge, Sally Mann, Rania Matar and Tony Oursler, to name a few.
Highlights of our historical collection include paintings by Gilbert Stuart and John Smibert, George Inness, Fitz Henry Lane, Lilla Cabot Perry and twenty-five works by William Trost Richards. In addition, the museum has works by Winslow Homer and George Bellows, iconic sculptures by William Morris Hunt and Paul Manship, and a number of works by John La Farge. The museum also has photographs by Aaron Siskind and wallpapers by Andy Warhol, as well as prints by Philip Guston, Corita Kent, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Pearlstein and Ad Reinhardt, as well as works of art in glass by Dale Chihuly and Toots Zynsky.
The Museum is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays from April to December until 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed to the public on Mondays. Membership levels and benefits of the museum, courses and enrollment in art schools, exhibition schedules, public programming, etc. are available on www.newportartmuseum.org. Telephone: (401) 848-8200.
Source: Newport Art Museum