Kathy Butterly

2007 Artist Award

Loud Silence, 2013, clay, glaze, 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 x 4 inches.
Dual 2, 2013, clay, glaze, 4 6/8 x 5 3/8 x 3 6/8 inches.
Change Maker, 2013, clay, glaze, 4 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches.


Kathy Butterly is a ceramic sculptor based in New York. Her painterly sculptures often incorporate intricately formed details and layered glazes that crackle and shine. Butterly received a BFA from Moore College of Art and MFA from the University of California, Davis. Her work has been exhibited at the Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; the National Academy Museum, New York; Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; the Mint Museum of Craft & Design, Charlotte, NC; and the American Craft Museum, New York, among others. Her work is held in many public collections, including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA; and Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. She is the recipient of grants from Anonymous Was a Woman (2002), New York Foundation for the Arts (1999), Empire State Crafts Alliance (1995), and The Evelyn Shapiro Foundation (1993).




OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA—September 12, 2007—The Artists’ Legacy Foundation announced today its first award of $25,000, which will be given to New York artist Kathy Butterly. The Artist Award was created to recognize and honor the accomplishments of an outstanding visual artist whose primary medium is painting and/or sculpture.

The Artists’ Legacy Foundation was established by artists Squeak Carnwath and Viola Frey and was incorporated in California in 2000. With the death of Viola Frey in 2004, her estate became the first to be transferred to the Artists’ Legacy Foundation. Over time, the Foundation anticipates receiving additional artists’ estates.

The mission of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation is to promote the art and legacy of Foundation artists after their death and to support and advance established artists of the highest quality through award and grant programs, which are designed to encourage recipients to spend more creative time in their studios and for ongoing professional enrichment. As an award program there are no restrictions on the use of the funds by the recipient.

Through publications and exhibitions, the Foundation will serve as a resource to scholars, curators and the general public by deepening their understanding of the work of Foundation artists. Educational programs will help inform artists about estate planning and choices they need to make about their work throughout their careers. This October a four week program on estate planning will be offered for working artists in conjunction with the San Francisco Art Institute. A collaborative project with the Joan Mitchell Foundation entitled, Creating a Lasting Record, will extend the work of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation. This project will enable four artists to document thirty years of their artwork, creating a data base for a future catalogue raisonne.

The recipient of the first Artists’ Legacy Foundation Award, Kathy Butterly was selected solely by members of the Foundation’s panel of jurors. Ms. Butterly’s medium is ceramics. The artist was nominated anonymously and as her nominator said in the nomination letter: “I am particularly interested in her work because she crosses boundaries between craft and high art, and between sculpture, ceramic and painting. Abstract in form, often figurative in allusion, her pocket-sized porcelains are characterized by quirky, pop-surreal images with attitude, their discontent and subversion disguised by her remarkable, ingratiating range of luminous color and her breathtaking delicacy.”

Kathy Butterly has been a practicing artist for the past 17 years and is represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. She is a graduate of the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and received her MFA from the University of California, Davis. Ms. Butterly was surprised and delighted by the award and said: “It was Viola Frey who first got me excited about clay and enabled me to see it as a powerful, expressive sculptural medium. Receiving the first Artists’ Legacy Foundation Award is a total surprise, and I am thrilled and humbled to accept it.” A ceremony honoring the artist will take place in the Bay Area this fall.

An exhibition of Kathy Butterly’s work will be presented in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street @ 3rd, from November 3 through November 18, 2007. For information and directions to YBCA, please visit www.ybca.org.

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