Textile Artist Bisa Butler on Her Vibrant Quilted Portraits That Share Black Stories [Podcast]

Broom Jumpers by Bisa Butler

“Broom Jumpers,” 2019 (quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon | 58″ x 98″)

This week on the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast, we chat with fiber artist Bisa Butler on her incredibly vibrant quilts celebrating Black stories. Bisa uses the traditional craft of quilting to create contemporary portraits of Black women, men, and children. Her work often focuses on those who may have been forgotten or overlooked in history and is depicted in bright colors paired with patterns and textures.

Bisa tells us about how she began transforming historical black and white photos into new stories. She celebrates unexpected intimate moments like a casual dinner at home or a day of doing laundry. One of the pieces we dive into during our chat is Broom Jumpers, which depicts a young couple jumping over a broom as part of a wedding ceremony during the time of slavery. This work is not only another breathtaking quilt, but also uses West African fabric to imagine a lost history of this young couple.

Tune in to hear about Bisa’s unique style and more unexpected narratives she was able to create in her work. You can listen to the full episode below or on the Top Artist website. Or, subscribe using your favorite podcast app and never miss an episode. And, if you want even more content from our show, sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram.

Listen to our chat with textile artist Bisa Butler on her impactful and colorful work.

Broom Jumpers by Bisa Butler

“Broom Jumpers,” 2019 (quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon | 58″ x 98″) (detail)

Bisa Butler: Website | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok 

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5 Contemporary Textile Artists to Celebrate During Women’s History Month

READ: Textile Artist Bisa Butler on Her Vibrant Quilted Portraits That Share Black Stories [Podcast]

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