“Butler is elevating the status of her subjects by making portraits, and also elevating quilting – which is an African American craft tradition – by adding portraiture to it.”

~ Glenn Adamson, craft scholar, curator and writer

Born in 1973 in Orange, New Jersey, Bisa Butler was reared in the suburb of South Orange.  The daughter of educators, she is the youngest of four children.  From an early age, her artistic talent was supported and celebrated.  In an interview with Christina Nafziger for Create! Magazine, she shared that her mother “even let me draw my guardian angels on the wall of my room when I was three, so that I wouldn’t be afraid to sleep in my own bed.”  When she was only four years old, she was awarded a blue ribbon for her art in the Plainfield Sidewalk art competition.  The following year, her school ranked her as “Artist of the Month”.

Continuing to create, she completed her secondary education at Columbia High School in 1991.  Electing to matriculate Howard University, a historically Black institution of higher learning in Washington D.C., Bisa Butler graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art.

For greater enlightenment...