Tina Butterfield, MFA
Assistant Professor of Art
How did you discover Western?
I grew up on a farm in western Kansas, and my father was a cattle farmer who would come to Gunnison for the high altitude beef. He knew I would fall in love with the Gunnison Valley, and after touring Western, I was impressed with the academia of the Art Department as well as the friendly and helpful professors. In the end, the small town of Gunnison, the caring and knowledgable faculty, and the high rigor found in the Art Department shaped my early career and later career path to become part of the art faculty.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
- 2018 Selected for an artist residency in Sequoia National Park.
- 2018 Large-scale painting purchased for the collection at the new Health Science Building, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction.
- 2017 In Motion, Group Invitational, Gunnison Arts Center, Gunnison. Aratoi Museum of Art 2016 Invitational, Masterton, New Zealand.
- 2016 Art as a Living Thing, New Zealand Pacific Studio’s 15th Anniversary Exhibition, Masterton, New Zealand. Annual Pukaha Invitational Exhibition, Mount Bruce, New Zealand. Humilitas, Solo Exhibition, Toi Waiarapa, Carterton, New Zealand.
- 2016 Selected to travel to New Zealand to attend a two-week artist residency at New Zealand Pacific Studios. During these two weeks, I created a solo exhibition from the local landscapes that sold out during the opening night. The following year, I was invited to showcase my artwork at the Aratoi Museum of Art for their annual group exhibition.
- 2010 Becoming, Sangre De Christo Art Center, Pueblo (solo show). Selected for a solo exhibition in the Sangre De Christo Art Center in Pueblo, where I created a large-scale, site-specific installation using handmade watercolor paints and torn paper.
What most excites you about your field?
Art is a universal language that transcends time. Art visually communicates new ideas, brings light to old ideas, educates, enlightens, brings deeper understanding and can create a deep impact in the people and world around us. As an artist, this is a great power and responsibility. Artist students not only are educating themselves about technique, subject matter and content related to creating art, but also are shaping themselves into good citizens who have the power to shape the world.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
The people of the Gunnison Valley make this small town into a community.