How Bisa Butler Went From Being a High School Art Teacher to an In-Demand Quilter With a Show at the Art Institute of Chicago

artnet news

Bisa Butler’s intricate portrait quilts are often based on found black-and-white photographs of Black people—some famous, some anonymous, some familial.


The New Jersey-based artist can spend thousands of hours translating these photographs into meticulously dazzling images. The process, Butler says, is akin to pulling her subjects out of the past and into life today; as she works, she wonders what these people were like. What did they sound like? What made them tick?

April 7, 2021