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Katie Butler: Bread and Butter

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Akron Soul Train artist-in-residence Katie Butler presents “Bread and Butter,” a series of still-life paintings commenting on financial disparities in American society. Scenes of everyday spaces and objects, like a barn, a gingham tablecloth, or an American flag are framed in the background: small, obscured, and off at a distance. In juxtaposition, the foreground radically shifts in scale with a large table set with fine china, wine, and food delicacies. Butler uses this contrast to accentuate the income divide in contemporary American society and examine the difference in realities between the average citizen and those in power. Both boldly provocative and shrouded in disparity, Butler’s paintings seek to narrate the class climate in American society.

“With superficial notions of ‘bread and butter issues’ at the center of campaigns, the dinner table becomes a metaphorical stage for political theater. Objects symbolic of wealth, greed, and political power sit amongst the ostentatious displays of food, serving as reminders of who gets a seat at the table and how the system is designed to benefit them at the expense of others.” – Katie Butler