Art Professor chosen for residency in New Zealand

Tina Butterfield in her Gunnison studio
If someone were to ask a three-year-old Tina Butterfield what she wanted to do when she grew up she would have said, "I'm going to be an artist." There was never another answer. Today, Butterfield is an accomplished painter and and Assistant Professor of Art at Western. "Art is my life," she said.

Butterfield was recently chosen through a selective juried process for a two week artist's residency in New Zealand, beginning on May 9.

Butterfield is looking forward to being surrounded by a new landscape and community, and the opportunity to have the two weeks to create. 

"I'm going there to immerse myself in my art," she said. "I'm doing all these other things. I teach, I'm a mom. But when you go on a residency, you don't have the house calling, or students or friends."

The work she will be creating in New Zealand will focus on the idea of humility. Butterfield explains that the Latin root of humility is humilitas, which translates to earth.

"It's interesting, that connection back to the Earth," she said. "Part of the idea is that humility, for me, is captured in the natural world, and the natural world really does humble me."

Butterfield is looking forward to traveling to the unique landscape of New Zealand to develop her work.

"I don't think you can talk about big ideas when you are so isolated which is also why this trip is so important to me. I'm still exploring it and trying to approach what I'm doing with it in my art," she said. "These experiences are important because they shape and build your art — just like they build your life."


Article and photo by Roberta Marquette-Strain.

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 6:15pm