Chatham@Work | JR BUTLER, Siler City Artist

Posted 8/16/19

JR Butler was born in Port Jervis, New York, and now lives in Silk Hope. He attended Port Jervis High School and Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, and receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts …

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Chatham@Work | JR BUTLER, Siler City Artist

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JR Butler was born in Port Jervis, New York, and now lives in Silk Hope. He attended Port Jervis High School and Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, and receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Colorado State University. Butler is a self employed artist at JR Butler Art and has installed several murals in downtown Siler City.

“I work as an artist in many different mediums including drawing, painting, sculpting, ceramics and digital art,” he said.

He is the son of Allen and Cindy Butler and the father to two daughters, Makayla and Danielle.

What was your first paying job, and what did it teach you?

My first paying job was working for my dad setting mobile and modular homes. It taught me a lot of useful tactile skills that I still use for my art today and a strong work ethic.

What’s the most difficult job you’ve ever had?

Working for my dad setting mobile and modular homes.

What advice would you give someone considering doing the same line of work as you?

It’s hard work making money in art. If you’re doing it strictly for the money you may be disappointed.

Your standard order at a coffee shop?

Half-caff Caramel Mocha

Your ultimate “happy place?”

My little sustainable cabin in the woods where I live.

Coke or Pepsi?


Life on other planets? Yes or no?

I think it’s very likely, considering all of the galaxies in the universe.

Stay up late or get up early?

Stay up late.

On a snow day, you’d stay home and binge-watch:

Stranger Things

Ever danced in the rain?


What makes your home special?

My home is back off the main road out in the country, and I have the best view of the night sky and a large gathering of starlings in the trees every year that are amazing to watch.

Who was the best teacher (in school or at work) you ever had, and why?

Mr. Hans Wingasson was my art teacher in elementary school and then again in high school. He was an amazing artist and encouraged his students to not just learn simply from what others told us but to seek out the truth for ourselves.

The trait you most deplore in yourself:

Anxiety and depression.

Your strongest trait:


Your favorite movie of all time:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If money weren’t an object, but you still had to work, what would your job be?

If money weren’t an object, it would make creating art even better for me so I would continue doing it. I would be able to really be able to show off my full potential.

What’s your favorite snack food?

Vanilla yogurt and cherries with cacao granola.

Your strongest childhood ambition was:

To be an artist.

If you could eliminate any invention, what would it be?

Weapons of mass destruction

The most famous person you’ve ever met:

Clay Aiken

If you had lots of money to give away, you’d give most of it to:

My family.

What was your dream job when you were a child?

To be an artist.

What would be your last meal?


What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?

Severed my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and had to have it replaced with a piece of my hamstring.

Would you go bungee jumping or skydiving?

I’ve been bungee jumping before and would do it again. I’d go skydiving too.

Do you have a tattoo?


Did you have a childhood nickname?

JR; my real name is Allen Jr.

Favorite kind of cookie?

Oatmeal raisin

Favorite season?


What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to tell someone?

That I loved them.

Would you consider plastic surgery if someone else paid for it?


What’s your usual wake-up time in the morning?

7 a.m.

What talent do you wish you had?

To be mechanically inclined.

What superhero power would you most like to have?


What’s your favorite condiment?


Do you have bumper stickers of any kind on your car?

Just one — for the N.C. Arts Incubator.

If you could never hear the music of one musical artist ever again, which would it be?

Corey Feldman

If you could create one rule that all society had to live by, what would it be?

Do harm to no one.

How do you define success?

Being happy at what you do.

If you could instantly learn one language, which would it be?


What advice would you give your younger self?

Be yourself.

Would you rather explore outer space or the ocean floor?

Outer space


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