Thara Memory, music alum, led his American Music Program to win the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City in May 2015.
April 10 – May 16, 2007
"Ken Butler's work is enormously interesting, particularly his idea of recycling and
giving voice to found objects."
– Laurence Libin, curator of musical instruments
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Collaborating with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University, Marylhurst will bring the New York-based native Oregonian home. The project seeks to introduce Oregon audiences to the profound and, at the same time, highly entertaining work of Ken Butler.
Phase One, which this grant will support, will include two exhibitions – one in the Portland metropolitan area and one in Salem. The Marylhurst exhibition is timed to coincide with the International Sculpture Symposium sponsored by Sculpture Magazine in Spring 2007. The Hallie Ford presentation will follow in June and July.
Ken Butler: Hybrid Instruments will include 60 of the artist's infinitely inventive and witty "hybrid instruments" – film reel and tennis racket guitars, cowboy boot violins, axe cellos, styrofoam packaging pianos. The artist will also perform at each venue, and participating museums will have the option to offer workshops for college students, adults and children.
Butler has shown and performed at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Brooklyn Museum, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV and NBC's Tonight Show.
"It's not just that Ken Butler knows how to bow stringed parade rifles, play dental
dams like trumpets and construct keyboards from aluminum crutches, it's that he knows
how to play them well."
– Neil Strauss, The Village Voice
Funded in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition.