When is an artist finished? The answer is never. They are still here. If you can not see them maybe you can smell them, or read them, or hear them, or touch them. Or maybe they have touched you.

My work is the opposite of organic. I’m inspired by cities. In cities, I always know where I am. I like the pattern of city grids, the manhole covers, the trolley lines, the tread of tires, sidewalks and streets, street lights, the shape of the buildings. My materials tend to be urban, too. When I need color, I go to Home Depot or True Value. I see myself as a sculptor who makes prints and drawings. I have a vocabulary of shapes, not a palette of colors, like a painter.
– Weldon Butler

It is with great sadness that we announce the passage of Weldon Butler, on Sunday February 24th, at the age of 77.  Weldon proved to be a good friend to many and an important part of the PNW community.  Weldon Butler moved to Tacoma from Philadelphia in 1968, on the advice of his brother-in-law, who told him the job market was strong.  From 1970-73, Butler studied art at Green River Community College, following a desire that first surfaced at the age of 14.  In addition to a lifetime of making art, Weldon has been a toolmaker for Boeing, a silkscreen technician in Tacoma, a mapmaker, and an auto shop fender man in his home town of Philadelphia.

The G. Gibson Gallery hosted an exhibit for Weldon Butler in the winter of 2018. His work has been collected by Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, Philadelphia; American Institute of Architects, Seattle; the Seattle Art Museum;  the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; University of Washington Medical Center Collection; Portable Works Collection, City of Seattle, Office of Arts and Culture; Washington State Arts Commission Art in Public Places Collection, Gig Harbor, WA; Portable Works Collection, City of Shoreline; and is also included in several architectural and law firm corporate collections. For a complete list of exhibits and awards please contact the gallery.

Weldon’s family is planning a celebration of Weldon’s life and artwork. If you would like information about this forthcoming event, please let us know so we can share your contact information with the family.

Photograph by Reuben Butler

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