Debra Butler is River City Art Association’s January Artist of the Month at the Vigo County Public Library at Seventh and Poplar streets in Terre Haute, Indiana. Her display includes “Summer Sunday Echo Park” and 10 other photographs.
Ms. Butler lived and worked in Southern California for forty-five years before relocating back to Terre Haute for retirement. A self-taught photographer from an early age, taking photographs in her spare time and on vacations as she continued her legal career, her photography documents beautiful and serene places, as well as capturing images of stark nature, wildlife, and historical architecture.
Ms. Butler first began exhibiting photographs locally in 2021. Her photographs have been seen in over a dozen local exhibits, including a virtual exhibit for the library in September 2021. She was awarded a First Place in the Wabash Valley Art Guild Spring show, and has photographs accepted in exhibitions in the Arts Illiana Gallery and Swope Art Museum. Ms. Butler’s work can also be seen in the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Calender for 2023.
For this exhibit, Ms. Butler has selected a few favorite photographs of tropical and cactus flowers and wild creatures, which were taken in her Los Angeles County backyard as well as scenic views of two well-known locations in Los Angeles County. Her photograph of Echo Park Lake in downtown Los Angeles captured the famed blooming Lotus field and her “City Glitter” is a night view of Los Angeles from the Griffith Park Observatory.
Always fascinated with the wild animals that made it to her backyard, Ms. Butler has selected a rare photograph of a Pacific Rattlesnake that took up residence by her front gate, and an equally rare photograph of a shy King Snake, so-called due to its reputation as a killer of rattlesnakes. (“No,” she says, this King Snake did not kill the rattlesnake pictured.)
Here is a Bobcat looking for lunch as it surveyed a field of ground squirrel holes. Also here is a slightly blurry photograph of a Black Bear, actually Cinnamon-colored, that was chased back to the forest one Sunday afternoon when the bear tried to cross the yard for the street below, not waiting for the usual cover of dark before beginning its trash can rounds.
The Cereus Cactus only blooms once a year, with the blossoms opening just as dark falls. Each bloom lasts only one night as it attempts to attract pollinators and fades by mid-morning. The potted Yellow and Pink Plumeria also thrived in Ms. Butler’s yard, and their yearly blooms gave her a thrilling remembrance of more tropical places in the hot, dry Southern California environment. She hopes you enjoy these images as much as she enjoyed the plants, places and wildlife she was able to capture in her photographs.