Kelly Burke (B. 1966, Philadelphia, PA) has worked with paint and colors as a professional painter
and later in life discovered her love for creating fine art.
She studied drawing with Mira O’Brien at the Berlin Drawing Room (http://berlindrawingroom.blogspot.de), Klemens Wuttke in Nuremberg at his Atelier Eins (http://www.atelier-wuttke.de/ ), and at the Schuler School of Fine Arts (http://www.schulerschool.com/) in Baltimore, Maryland, where she now lives.
Having always been attracted to art museums, theater, and animals, she has discovered several mediums to work with to express her perspectives from the whimsical to the political. Her sense of humor, color combinations and patterns, and research for some of her art projects shows a concern to reach a wide range of people through aesthetics, wit, and engagement with the contemporary world.
Her Reimagined American Flag and States of Being series visually express her ideals for America, present possibilities for dialogue, and seek through artistic expression to break through walls of discourse. These two series are intended to inspire conversations on major issues of our day related to social justice and racial injustice. In the past several years, she decided to make her political-conceptual paintings into quilts so that they could reach a wider audience through quilt shows and state fairs. She has won several awards for the oil and quilted versions of the artwork in her Reimagined American Flag series.
Burke’s love for animals comes to the fore in oil paintings and especially in quilted pet portraits. Her abstracts are often inspired by textiles and convey interest in the woven quality of threads, complex textures, and overlapping patterns of color.
Her artwork has been shown in galleries across the country in Abington, Pennsylvania, Anchorage, Alaska, Alexandria, Virginia, Ashville and Charlotte, North Carolina, Baltimore, Maryland, Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina, Princeton, New Jersey, NYC, New York, San Diego, Santa Ana, and San Jose, California, and Washington, D.C.
Kelly Burke is known for her work on pushing the symbolic potential of the stars and stripes of the US flag in her “Reimagined American Flags” and “States of Being” series. The nine pieces in her “States of Being” series visually push the potential meanings of the 50 stars/states of the US flag at national, state, and individual levels. The artwork “States of Being II: Diverse” expresses the ethnic and multi-national diversity of the US through different colored stars inspired by flags from around the world. In addition to her political-conceptual artwork, all of which are also made as quilts, she paints and quilts animal portraits and does abstracts in oil and in acrylics.