DePaul Art Museum > Exhibitions > Betsy Odom: Butchcraft

Betsy Odom: Butchcraft

​​January 17 – March 31, 2019​


Butchcraft is the preferred term Betsy Odom (American, b. 1980) uses to describe her subversion of traditional craft practices. Utilizing skills ranging from leather tooling, woodworking, and ceramics to airbrushing, sewing, and metalworking, Odom creates intricately crafted objects that appear functional, yet are purely aesthetic. She embraces the tension created by familiar shapes and forms that are slightly off—a mouth guard is precisely recreated in graphite or gym shorts are meticulously crafted out of rigid leather. Odom employs techniques that are often associated with masculinity and plays with stereotypical associations around gender, sexuality, and sports.

The layout of Butchcraft was designed by the artist to evoke memories of a garage or thrift store, where objects are at once organized but randomly juxtaposed. Odom subtly interjects humor through unexpected materials, visual jokes, and deliberately invoking lesbian stereotypes. Her works challenge perceptions that craft is decorative or lacking in conceptual rigor, and instead complicate how gender and identity are projected onto materials, objects, and ideas.

Betsy Odom: Butchcraft is curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, DePaul Art Museum Director and Chief Curator, and Mia Lopez, Assistant Curator.​