Joan Butterfield is a prolific artist, with her work appearing across North America. She has created over 8,000 works and participated in hundreds of solo and group exhibits. Joan’s pieces are found in homes, civic buildings, boardrooms, galleries and public spaces around the world.
Joan has received accolades in both Canada and the USA, and is the founder and art director for the Association of African Canadian Artists and curator of their critically acclaimed COLOURblind Art Exhibitions. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Scotiabank Caribana Festival and curator of their annual art exhibition.
Joan worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges that await new immigrants to Canada. While raising her children in a new country, Joan turned to the study of the ancient art form of decoupage. Her ability to combine this ancient 17th Century art form with current art techniques has become known as “The Butterfield” technique - a powerful vehicle for inspiring dialogue regarding contemporary and historical issues.
Recognizing that the broader community was unfamiliar with this art form, Joan was determined to show her work in the best possible way and became her own curator. In 1988, she signed an exclusive agreement with Essence Art, which introduced her work to the American public at "Art Expo" in New York City.
In 1995 The Canadian Human Rights Commission chose Joan to curate their Black History Month "Human Rights through Art,” an exhibit that emphasized the importance of human rights in Canada. In September 2000, Joan produced "Pathway to Success" posters, which incorporated images of black children, and distributed them to local schools. In 2001, Joan was invited to participate in "The Paper Trail" at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, an event designed to educate the public on the timeless beauty of paper art.
Matriarch to the community of Afro Artists in Toronto, Joan has written a book, Starving Artist’s Guide to Riches, and hundreds of articles that encourage and assist budding artists to maximize their talents. Through Joan’s efforts, the community of Afro Canadian artists is gaining strength in the field of visual arts. Across North America and beyond, many more people’s stories are being displayed and enjoyed as a result of Joan Butterfield’s achievements and perseverance.