Rodney D. Butler Bert Long Gallery: Year 2

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Rodney D. Butler   Bert Long Gallery: Year 2
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Rodney D. Butler Bert Long Gallery: Year 2 says
Until his death on February 1, 2013, Bert Long, Jr. was one of the brightest lights in the Houston arts community. In recognition of his support of local artists, HMAAC has dedicated a gallery in Bert’s name to allow the museum to annually exhibit the work of four artists working in the greater Houston area. By creating this platform, HMAAC will give our community the opportunity to experience the best and most compelling of Houston’s visual artists.

Rodney D. Butler Artist Statement:
Rodney D. Butler is a native Houstonian. While attending James Madison High School he excelled at art, wood shop and drafting. He went on to Tuskegee University, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture degree. After graduation he started working for a local architecture firm. He realized the industry was headed in a 3D direction so he decided to pursue an associate degree in Computer Animation at the Art Institute of Houston. While at the Art Institute, Rodney had another realization. That he was an artist at heart, which came to no surprise to those who watched him grow up. Even as a child he was always drawing and building things.
One day Rodney purchased a bar-b-que pit from Craigslist. After receiving it he wanted to make some modifications to meet his needs. He decided to take a welding class at Leisure Learning. There they taught him the basic techniques of Arc welding, Mig welding and Brazing. Taking this class brought out the artist in him. He started collecting equipment and scrap metal to practice. One day while talking to his mom she suggested making a lamp, and that is when his "Green Metal Art" style was born. This style is where he takes scrap metal and various other equipment parts that are unusable, or by normal standards considered junk, and recycle them into art. Rodney has no idea how a particular piece is going to end up looking until he takes off his welding helmet for the last time.
Some of Rodney's current work includes African and Aboriginal art, 3D complex shapes, fictional animals and of course lamps. No two pieces are exactly the same. His work is truly an improvisation of artistically perfect imperfections.
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By: Houston Museum of African American Culture

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