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Exhibition: March 30, 2024 - February 2, 2025

Beau McCall: Buttons On!

Exhibition dates: March 30, 2024 - February 2, 2025

Buttons On! marks the first-ever retrospective for creative artist, Beau McCall. Proclaimed by American Craft magazine as “The Button Man,” McCall creates wearable and visual art by hand-sewing clothing buttons onto mostly upcycled fabrics, materials, and objects. Buttons On! showcases pieces from McCall’s nearly forty-year career, the debut of several new works, and select archival material. Organized into several themes, the exhibition explores McCall’s mastery of the button and commentary on topics such as pop culture and social justice.

The exhibition’s four themes include: “Buttons on the Body,” “Buttons on the Mind,” “Buttons on the Soul,” and “Buttons Off,” each one representing a different facet of McCall’s creative practice. Visitors will experience McCall’s button-embellished plethora of wearable art including jackets, vests, yokes, shorts, aprons, sneakers, jewelry, and durags; visual art such as a 450-pound cast iron bathtub, a life-size Kool-Aid Man, and an installation of over 100 jars of buttons; mostly never-before-seen archival materials documenting McCall’s career and evolution; and a few select items of McCall’s buttonless works that spotlight his versatility and boundless creativity.

Visitors are invited to share their “button” experiences in the form of art and text, which becomes part of the exhibition.
Get ready to put your buttons on! #BeauMcCall

Guest curated by Souleo and organized by Beth C. McLaughlin, Fuller Craft Museum’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Caroline R. Graboys Fund, The Coby Foundation, Artscope, and Rockland Trust.

Related Programming:
March 30th: Beau McCall: Buttons On! Opening Reception – Register Here
April 21st: Professor Gizmo – Register Here

Virtual Tour filmed by Keira Cronin, with editing and narration provided by Souleo

Additional Venues:
Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco, CA) from May 10, 2025 through September 14, 2025
Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT) from October 12, 2025 through January 4, 2026
African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) from February 8, 2026, through May 23, 2026

About the Artist:
Beau McCall creates wearable and visual art by applying clothing buttons onto mostly upcycled fabrics, materials, and objects. His artworks, offering commentary on topics such as pop culture and social justice, have been included in exhibitions at The Museum at FIT (New York, NY), Nordstrom, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA), Houston Museum of African American Culture (Houston, TX), Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit, MI), Stax Museum of American Soul Music (Memphis, TN), Black Fashion Museum (New York, NY), the Langston Hughes House in partnership with the inaugural Columbia University Wallach Art Gallery Uptown triennial and StoryCorps (New York, NY), and Rush Arts Gallery (New York, NY). McCall’s work is held in the permanent collection of public institutions and by private individuals, including the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), The Museum at FIT (New York, NY), Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, NY), Amistad Research Center (New Orleans, LA), The Museum of Modern Art Library (New York, NY), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (New York, NY), Stonewall National Museum, Archives & Library (Fort Lauderdale, FL), and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Library (San Francisco, CA), Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” Residence, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Jeffrey Gibson, and Cristina Grajales.

In the Press:
Press Release
NewsBreak Original: Meet Mixed Media Artist Beau McCall, ‘The Button Man’
Spectrum News NY1: Artist Beau McCall uses all types of buttons for his unique creations
CanvasRebel: Meet Beau McCall
LaVoceDiNewYork: Beau McCall, the Man who loves buttons
Columbia Neighbors: A Conversation with Harlem’s Beloved ‘Button Man’ Beau McCall
Tatter: Beau McCall, The Button Man
Fox 5: creating wearable art with buttons
WBUR Spring Arts Guide: 14 art exhibits to explore this spring
The Arts Fuse: Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire
Stonehill College: In Appreciation of African Americans and the Arts
Radio Free Brooklyn: Love Me Or Leave Me
Vox: The Even Better Guide to Tax Season: Some inspiration for tax refund season.
American Craft Council: Craft Happenings 2024
The Bay State Banner: Have you seen the Button Man?
WBUR Field Guide to Boston: 5 things to do this weekend, including ‘Framing Freedom’ at Boston Athenaeum and an ICA play date
NBC New York: Meet the artists transforming buttons into works of art
The Bay State Banner: Have you seen the Button Man?
Many Layers of Reward at The Fuller – Artscope

Object Information – Coming Soon