Each in Their Own Voice: African-American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005

David Buttram interview excerpt, 03 December 2008

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David Buttram

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Waiting and Resting
Waiting and Resting

Program Length: 03:55

David Buttram, local Cleveland artist, talks about his childhood desire to draw cartoons and how art in school served as an outlet, since he did not feel he excelled academically. His mother did not encourage him to be an artist, but an art teacher in school did. Buttram now teaches high school art, as well as working as an artist. A thirteen month tour in Vietnam gave him a spiritual base, that influenced his work. After the Marines, he worked as a machinist to support his family, but decided to return to his desire to paint. He enrolled in Cooper art School, then CIA and obtained a Masters at Kent.

As an adult student he valued the importance of education as an artist, and was very focused. His work is in oil paintings, mostly city scenes, he talks about how the images he painted twenty years ago are very different from the current images seen in Cleveland. Light, shadow and color are important to his work, he uses photography to capture images and then draws working sketch from photo. He uses Web sites and shows to promote his work.

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