Can't Quit My People: Paintings by Erica Parsons Butler

Join us January 31, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. for the opening of "Can't Quit My People: Painting by Erica Parsons Butler." The exhibit runs January 31 to March 10, 2023. 

Erica Parsons Butler lives and works in Zebulon, North Carolina. She is a self-taught artist.  Painting has been a “stop and start” process for her for the past two decades. She says, “I just can’t quit my people. When I was in my early 20's, I painted my first person on a back of a pizza box, for the sole purpose of having some art in my apartment.  That painting looked like real art and made me proud. I kept painting and did my first festival. That was a traumatizing event because I did not sell a single piece.  I was not prepared to watch the “walkers”. I stopped painting for a good bit.  

I hit my 30's and I got the taste again. I started painting and got my work into a few places and even made 2005 calendars of my people. Not totally unsuccessful, but not sustainable.  I started my own magazine and became a mother of two. This carried me all the way through my 40's.  

I can still remember a poignant moment when my daughters were young, we were snuggled in bed together and thinking to myself that I have to show them what it looks like not to give up on your dreams. I hadn't painted in a long time and I knew it was slipping away. So here I am, 50 and still painting my faces.”