Bisa Butler is an artist who creates arresting portraits—composed entirely of vibrantly colored and patterned fabrics—that reimagine and celebrate narratives of Black life.
Often working with photographs as source images, she strategically selects fabrics, using the history or imagery of the prints to reinforce the stories she wants to communicate in each quilt. Layering materials and meanings, Bisa brings to life personal and historical narratives of Black life and invites viewers to look closely and think deeply about the potential and purposes of portraiture.
Bisa earned her BFA at Howard University, Washington, DC, and her MA in arts education at Montclair State University, New Jersey. Trained as a painter, she shifted to quiltmaking during her graduate studies, when she made a quilt in honor of her grandmother. She has exhibited in group and solo shows across the United States as well as in China, England, Japan, and South Africa.