Bisa Butler was born in Orange, NJ. Butler earned her BFA at Howard University, Washington, DC, and her MA in arts education at Montclair State University, New Jersey. Trained as a painter, she shifted to quilt making during her graduate studies, when she made a quilt in honor of her grandmother. Since then, she has continued to create textile works inspired by photographs—portraits composed entirely of fabrics and textiles in vibrant colors and patterns that reimagine and celebrate Black life. Butler taught art in high schools in New Jersey for over ten years. In February 2021 Bisa was awarded a United States Artist fellowship. She has exhibited in group and solo shows across the United States as well as in China, England, Japan, and South Africa. Most recently, she was featured in a solo exhibition that traveled from the Katonah Museum of Art to the Art Institute of Chicago. Butler’s work is in the collections of, among others, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Nelson-Adkins Museum, the Kemper Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Amani Lewis is an artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. Lewis's work aims to shift the dominant, and often manipulated and simplified, narrative of the Baltimore, Maryland community. Lewis showcases the complexity of the community's stories, and deepens the subject’s perspective of themselves, their power and their relationship to the city. In 2016, Lewis graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with a BFA in General Fine Arts and Illustration. Lewis aims to deepen the understanding of how her hometown is perceived through an exterior lens, and counter the representations often seen in the news, press, and across social media. Lewis begin with found and original photography of quotidian life in Baltimore, and then layer on expressive contour lines—a process that shifts the viewer’s focus away from the reality of the lives and circumstances of their subjects. They compel the viewer to look closer and uncover aspects of the narrative that are seemingly—and perhaps willingly—overlooked. Lewis recently completed a residency at Fountainhead. Lewis has exhibited at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, PA, and MICA.