We had the good fortune of connecting with Kent Anderson Butler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kent, why did you pursue a creative career?
I grew up in Northern California and ever since I was a child I have had a spirit of imagination and a heart of an artist. My first artistic experience was with my grandfather. He taught me the craft of stained glass art. I was fascinated with all the amazing colors the glass gave off when the sun illuminated it. I also used to spend a lot of my childhood at the kitchen table drawing. These two experiences lead me to wanting to be an artist at an early age.

I have pursued an artistic career because I believe it s a calling and that God has given me this amazing gift to be able to create art and to have an impact on those who experience it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Since graduate school, I have developed a professional career as an artist that spans beyond Southern California and for the last 20 years, I have had the amazing job as an Artist Teacher. I recently just moved to Dallas and am now a Visual Arts Teacher at a private k-12 school teaching visual art and photography.

Working as an Artist Teacher, allows me to create the art that I really want to create, and not be so bounded by the commercial art world and I also love teaching. It is an integral part of my life and I love sharing the story of art with my students. My goal is to mentor my students as I was mentored as a young artist. I have been truly blessed to live the life I have.

I am a visual artist working in a variety of mediums including video installation, performance and photography and have participated in solo and group exhibitions. A few locations include Coagula Curatorial, Art Center College of Design, California Museum of Photography and Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Since I am new to the DFW area, I am looking forward to exhibiting my work in Texas and sharing my art with others who have not had the opportunity to experience it yet. Recently, I had a solo exhibition at The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, Ca. The exhibition was rooted in the exploration of the “human condition”, the “body” and the “spirit” with a deeper integration of how the weaving of the “sacred”, the “environment” and the “body” connect with the current contemporary cultural climate and it looked at the metaphorical relationship between the narratives of Moby Dick and Jonah and the Whale. I am currently starting a new body of work that explores the metaphor of the Old Testament narrative of Jacob wrestling with the Angel and how the narrative relates to current issues that are going on in contemporary culture today.

The thing that I am most proud about with my work as an artist, is seeing the art that I create have an impact on individuals who experience it and allow them to see something in a new way. I want to touch their heart, mind and soul.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I am new to the area, I am still getting to know what is around. So far, some of my favorite spots in the DFW area are the Modern Art Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Terry Blacks BBQ in Deep Ellum, The Art Collection at North Park Center, and Dough Pizzeria in Plano. Recently my wife Heidi and I went on a road-trip to Fredericksburg and Austin and loved exploring the Texas landscape for the first time.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I moved down to Southern California to study art at Biola University. While I was studying there, for the first time, I walked into The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and that experience changed my perception of how art can be a catalyst to evoke emotion and change the world. While an undergraduate student, I started out as a graphic design major like most freshmen, but eventually went down the studio art path and fell in love working with video/film, photography, and performance as artistic mediums that gave my artistic works a voice. There were three amazing professors that molded me and gave me a strong foundation for my artistic process. While at Biola, Dan Callis, Barry Krammes, and Roger Feldman took the time to mentor, love, and challenge me as a young emerging artist. I will never forget what they have done for me and the support they have given me throughout my life.

After receiving my undergraduate degree, I wanted to further my education, so I went to California State University, Fullerton to get my MFA in Visual Art. While there, Eileen Cowin, Darryl Curran, Joe Santarromana, Jim Jenkins, Kim Abeles, and Todd Gray supported me, challenged me, and pushed me to create the best work possible. Through their mentorship along with the encouragement of other artists, I began to really understand what it means to integrate one’s ideas and worldview into the art that I was making and allow the work to have a voice for my audience.

Website: https://www.kentandersonbutler.com

Instagram: kentandersonbutler

Facebook: Kent Anderson Butler

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