Lawrence Butler

What is your background?
I am a teacher and PhD art historian, recently retired from George Mason University in Virginia. While my training and research have been in Medieval, Islamic and Silk Road art, I have taught a broad range of courses on global art and architecture, and on museum studies. I have taught four times on Semester at Sea, circling the globe, and have taught art history these last few summers in Shanghai, China. These days I am lecturing for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC on art and cultural history, and lecturing on Smithsonian Journeys tours of Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Vietnam. My husband and I have recently moved to East Hawaii where we are starting a small farm on the Hamakua coast.
What motivates you to be on the board of EHCC?
When I moved to Hawaii in 2018 I was delighted to find and join Carol Walker’s new gamelan just getting established at the EHCC. Playing in a gamelan had been a long-time dream of mine, ever since my first visit to Indonesia in 2005. I was intrigued not only by the music, but by the group ethos that underlies a community gamelan. As I became more familiar with the EHCC, I was impressed by the high quality of its visual arts exhibitions, and by its ambitious cultural mission in Hilo. While not an artist myself, I hope to be able to contribute from my experience in arts-related academia, my previous board memberships, and my global experiences in the arts. And for me it’s an opportunity to get grounded in Hilo, a new home that I’ve quickly come to love.
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