Tay Butler is a multi-disciplinary visual artist based in Houston, TX. He received his BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and completed his Photography MFA at the University of Arkansas. After retiring from the US Army and abandoning a middle-class engineering career to search for purpose, Tay reignited a rich appreciation for Black history and a deep obsession with the Black archive. Through collage, photography, drawing, video, sound, performance and large-scale installation, Tay utilizes past histories and imagery to create new understandings of the present while imagining a brighter future.
Tay’s solo exhibitions and installations include The Triangle, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, RE.Migrant I & II at Project Row Houses, Houston, TX and We Are Still Searching at the Louise J. Moran Fine Arts Courtyard, Houston, TX. His work has been featured in group exhibitions for ArtPace, San Antonio, and the Texas Biennial at Fotofest, Houston. Tay has collaborated with the Houston Rockets, Coca-Cola, amongst many others. Awards include the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council, the Idea Fund grant from Diverse Works, and First Prize in the 2019 Citywide African-American Artists Exhibition at TSU. Tay currently teaches art for the University of Houston and San Jacinto College, and has also led private and community workshops for Crystal Bridges Museum, Arkansas and The Center for Fine Art Photography, Colorado.