Ken Butler

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Musician and visual artist Ken Butler has created unique instruments using such objects as hockey sticks, axes, bicycle wheels and guns. During childhood he briefly studied viola and his interest in music…
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Artist Biography by

Musician and visual artist Ken Butler has created unique instruments using such objects as hockey sticks, axes, bicycle wheels and guns. During childhood he briefly studied viola and his interest in music did not wane during his years of visual arts studies at U.S. and French universities. In 1977, he completed his M.F.A. in painting, and the following year created his first hybrid instrument. Although he has put on solo performances, his shows are usually multi-media affairs; he has also created large scale audio-visual installations. Butler's works have been exhibited throughout Europe and North America, as well as in Peru and Tokyo; and in NYC at everywhere from Roulette, to The Knitting Factory, to MoMA. He has received fellowships, grants and awards from the NEA, the Oregon Arts Commission and more. In 1997, the Tzadik label released a CD of him playing his instruments along with multi-instrumentalist Matt Darriau, bassist Stomu Takeishi and percussionist Seido Salifoski entitled Voices of Anxious Objects.