The Princess, 2018  Bisa Butler. 

Art has a remarkable ability to transcend social and cultural boundaries, and it’s one of the things that I have always loved to learn more about. It’s one of the reasons that I dedicate my time to the Art Institute of Chicago’s Art Business Council and work to support artists in their endeavors and ensure that art lovers from all around the world will have the chance to enjoy the pieces at this outstanding museum in Grant Park.

The Art Institute is always offering something new to see for both first-time and returning visitors, and it’s currently featuring one of my favorite artists, Bisa Butler, in one of its exhibitions. Bisa Butler: Portraits is the first solo museum exhibition of Butler’s portraits made from textiles, and it’s a great opportunity to get to know more about her work.

Butler crafts stunning portraits of often unknown and nameless subjects from history, working exclusively with fabric that is layered with paint, photographs, and thread. Her quilt portraits are made in life scale, and most of her figures look viewers directly in the eye to engage in dialogue and communicate her intentions to recognize the lives of so many who have been overlooked and whose contributions have been undervalued.

The exhibit features over 20 of her amazing portraits (including one loaned from our collection) and is on display at the Art Institute until September 6, 2021. I encourage anyone who can to stop by and see some of Butler’s work in-person, as well as all of the outstanding pieces the museum has to offer.