Exhibition Explores ‘Belly of the Whale’

Kent Anderson Butler

Kent Anderson Butler

Los Angeles-based video and performance artist, Kent Anderson Butler, presents an exhibition Nov. 21-Jan. 18 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum. An opening reception and lecture for “From the Belly of the Whale: Kent Anderson Butler” will be Jan. 9 from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.

“The exhibition explores the current contemporary cultural climate through the use of symbolism and metaphor as seen in Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’ and in the biblical story of ‘Jonah and the Whale.’” says Judy L. Larson, R. Anthony Askew professor of art history and museum director. “These narratives serve as reflections of the tension, turmoil, grace and hope, which guide us as individuals and communities through life’s journeys.”

Kent Anderson Butler, From The Belly of Sheol, video still, 2019

Kent Anderson Butler’s “From The Belly of Sheol” (video still, 2019)

In 2013, the museum featured Anderson Butler’s unforgettable “Submergence,” a black-and-white video exhibition of Anderson Butler’s head and naked chest that sink below a surface of milk while the artist holds his breath.

Anderson Butler, a graduate of Biola University, earned a MFA in visual art and creative photography from California State University, Fullerton.

Rosemarie Gebhart's "Blue Dazzle II"

Santa Barbara artist Rosemarie Gebhart’s “Blue Dazzle II” is part of “The Flat File Show.”

Downstairs, the museum will feature “The Flat File Show,” an exhibition that highlights donated and consigned art from local artists and collectors that will be sold as a museum fundraiser.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit westmont.edu/museum or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.