“Hybrid Visions” at Family and Community Saturday

Washburn University

TOPEKA- Families can make some noise at a free event from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Mulvane Art Museum.

The event is in conjunction with the current exhibition “Hybrid Visions: Ken Butler,” which features violins made from cowboy boots, pianos crafted from Styrofoam packaging and guitars derived from tennis rackets and film reels. Butler will perform at 1 p.m.

Butler is an artist and musician whose hybrid musical instruments, collage drawings, performances and audio-visual installations explore the interaction and transformation of common objects, sounds and altered images as function and form collide in the intersection of art and music.

Participants will have the opportunity to construct their own unique musical instruments using recycled materials and then play the instruments during a mini-concert at 3:45 p.m. Family Day events are free and open to the public. A native of Oregon, Butler is an artist and musician whose hybrid musical instruments and other artworks explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds and silence. The idea of bricolage, essentially using whatever is at hand, is at the center of his art, encompassing a range of practice that combines live music, instrument design, performance art, theater, sculpture, installation, photography, film/video, graphic design, drawing and collage. He is internationally recognized as an innovator of experimental musical instruments created from diverse materials including tools, sports equipment and household objects.

Butler’s sculptures works have been featured in numerous exhibitions and played during performances throughout the world, including The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian and Sculpture Magazine and have been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV and NBC, including a live appearance on “The Tonight Show.”

The artist studied the viola as a child and maintained a strong interest in music while studying the visual arts at Colorado College and The Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France. He completed a master’s of fine arts degree in painting at Portland State University in 1977. His numerous grants and awards include multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The exhibition “Hybrid Visions: Ken Butler” will be at the Mulvane Sept. 26, 2009 to Jan. 24, 2010.

The Mulvane Art Museum is the final stop in a two-year tour funded in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition. The retrospective exhibit was organized collaboratively by The Art Gym, Marylhurst (Ore.) University and the Hallie Ford Museum, Willamette University, Salem, Ore.

The Mulvane Art Museum is located on the Washburn University campus at 17th and Jewell Streets, adjacent to White Concert Hall. No admission is charged. Free parking is available in the lot west of the museum. For additional information, call 785-670-1124, e-mail [email protected], or go to www.washburn.edu/mulvane/.