Sharon Butler

Mentioned in This Post

Tell me a little bit about your studio practice and your blogazine, Two Coats of Paint.

I’m a painter and I also founded Two Coats of Paint in 2007. Two Coats includes an award-winning painting blogazine, a short-term artist residency, a small book press, and other special initiatives. Last year I curated a couple shows: Infrastructure, during DUMBO Open Studios, and Blue State in January 2017. Two years ago, Two Coats gained fiscal sponsorship and the project has received generous funding from Creative Capital, the Warhol Foundation, an annual fundraising campaign, and an ongoing advertising initiative.

I’ve shown my paintings and drawings in many different venues, including a daily drawing practice on Instagram (@sharon_butler). I’m affiliated with Theodore:Art, a beautiful gallery in Bushwick

How long have you / your organization been based in DUMBO?

When I first moved to New York in the late eighties I got a studio in DUMBO. At the time, the neighborhood was full of vacant industrial buildings and totally deserted at night. It was too spooky for me, and after six months I ended up moving to Williamsburg. I returned to DUMBO four years ago when Two Trees invited me to participate in the Cultural Space Subsidy Program. I couldn’t believe how much the neighborhood had changed. Now, of course, it is bustling and welcoming.

What makes DUMBO’s art community different from other arts neighborhoods in the city?

More artists work in DUMBO than people think, but because the rents are higher than in some other art neighborhoods—like, say, Ridgewood and Bushwick—the artists tend to be mid-career rather than emerging. We exchange studio visits, have get-togethers, go to happy-hours—it’s a small, close-knit community of established artists and arts organizations.

Whose studios are you excited to visit this year as a part of DUMBO Open Studios? What should visitors not miss during their visit to DUMBO Open Studios this April?

I always look forward to the Open Studios at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. Jennifer Riley, Alexi Worth, Peter Drake, Theresa Hackett, Chitra Ganesh are also on my list. Sam Jablon and Laura Keretsky have new studios in the neighborhood, so I’m looking forward to popping in and saying hello. Artists Beth Dary and Elizabeth Hazan have curated group shows in their studios that look pretty interesting. I’m also looking forward to meeting the artists I don’t know and starting conversations with them. And, finally, at the end of the weekend, I’m planning to have shots of bourbon with Sharon Louden.