Inside the World of an Artist

On Women Worldwide, we often talk to influential women about their passion and how it has inspired the product or service they provide. But what if your product involves sharing a piece of your own spirit? Such is the case in the art world, where a professional’s product is as deeply personal as it gets.

Joining me on the show is New York-based artist Kathy Butterly, known for bringing a painterly sensibly to her idiosyncratic ceramic sculptures. Kathy Butterly was born in 1963 in Amityville, New York. She received her BFA at Moore College of Art before earning an MFA at University of California Davis. She lives and works in New York alongside her husband and fellow artist Tom Burckhardt. Kathy has exhibited across the United States, and many of her works are in the Permanent Collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of an incredible artist as Kathy shares her inspirations, breaks down her relationship with her materials and work, and talks about blending her professional and personal lives.

Today’s episode of Women WorldWide, which features a Visionary Woman Award winner, is being sponsored by Moore College of Art & Design. Moore’s the first and only women’s visual arts college for undergraduates in the United States.

In This Episode

  • The amount of time that goes into creating a piece of work
  • How different art materials behave
  • Challenges women artists face today
  • How an artist blends and balances her professional and personal lives
  • The importance of having a positive, nurturing support system

Quotes in This Episode

“I’m just trying to make work that really resonates with my heart, my mind. Formally and also on a deeper level.” —Kathy Butterly

“With art materials, you build a relationship with them. You nurture a relationship with a certain color or a certain pigment, and it’s very personal. It’s a weird thing to explain somebody who’s not an artist, but color and materials, they’re very personal.” —Kathy Butterly

“I think that there are, there’s definitely some challenges, especially if you decide to have a family where you have to juggle a lot. But you manage how to do it… Or I did, because being true to myself and making my work is one of the most important things other than making sure my kids are healthy and good.” —Kathy Butterly

“There’s always challenges, and that’s life. It would be really boring if there weren’t challenges or if things didn’t go wrong. When things go wrong, that’s when you have to problem solve. And that’s where things get better.” —Kathy Butterly

“Everything’s about the journey. I, in a way, part of my thinking and my making work is I’m not in it to make something. I’m in it to figure something out along the way and for all my thoughts and all my hard work, to achieve something in the end that has meaning. That’s my success is to achieve something with meaning.” —Kathy Butterly

Resources

Kathy Butterly, NYC-based ceramic sculptor on Women Worldwide with Deirdre Breakenridgekathybutterly.com
See Kathy’s work at the James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea or the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica