Inspired out of a love of comic book and Pop Art, William Butler’s work always makes someone laugh when they first see it. In the boldly colored and bulbous forms that seem to be in constant motion, one can identify objects that almost look familiar, but are altered and combined with other imagery that may surprise or baffle the viewer.
Beginning with pencil doodles, William allows the subconscious to direct him rather than planning everything out beforehand. These small drawings are enlarged and developed into color sketches. Some are painted on wood cut out to remove the background altogether. As he progresses, he makes conscious color or design decisions, while remaining true to the initial impulse.
“I like any art form that has mysterious imagery. I want viewers to be free to discover their own interpretation. Maybe someone can actually explain them to me, because the meaning of what I produce is hidden even from me!”
After graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1986, William worked for about 8 years as a graphic designer and illustrator by day, much of the time for a toy company near Aurora, Illinois. During this time, he painted Wyeth-like watercolors. From 1994-1999, William sold his watercolors in galleries and at numerous art fairs throughout the Midwest, east coast and Florida, winning many awards. His watercolors are included in Western and Eastern Illinois University collections.
From 1995-2002, he created hand-painted linoleum relief prints. His pop art inspired coffee addiction series was very popular in galleries and art fairs. The wood block look influences his current work.
William is in his 8th year as Executive Director of the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria.
Recent Selected Accomplishments:
8-12 Illinois State Fair Professional Art Exhibition, August 10-19, Artisan Building Juror: Joe Jorgensen
8-11 CIAO Exhibit at Peoria Public Library
7-11 Speakeasy Art Center, Solo Exhibit, Pekin, Illinois
3-11 35th Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Group Exhibition, co-sponsored by the Rock Island Art Guild and Augustana College, Juror: Dan Mills
10-10 Pop Duo, 2-Person Exhibit, Illinois Central College, East Peoria, Illinois
7-10 Judge for Awards, Galesburg Civic Art Center, Members and Friends Exhibition
2-10 GALEX 44 Group Exhibit, Galesburg Art Center Gallery, Galesburg, Illlinois
10-09 House of Scratch presents: Mind Field 2009, Hang Man Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
9-09 Juror/judge, Mosaics Festival for the Arts, St. Charles, Missouri
8-09 64Arts National Juried Show, Buchanan Center for the Arts, Monmouth, Illinois