Narrative and Copy Writing by Suzanne Ingrao

Copyright © 2019 Edward A. Burke              

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My Story

Born in Brooklyn, NY, 1945, he established his reputation as a representational and abstract painter in the 1980’s, particularly regionalist landscapes represented in his series "Reflective Still Water" in and around northern Westchester New York. He established a long career as a painter and teacher, while earning his living as a graphic designer.

 

"I was raised in Brooklyn, attended The High School of Art & Design in Manhattan and graduated in 1964. Continuing my art education at the School of Visual Arts while working as a full time commercial artist in small advertising agencies around New York City. I began a serious pursuit of painting in 1970. Simultaneously developing my career as a book designer and art director for educational publishers.“A single grade school event by a dedicated and caring teacher (Mrs. Hall) set my life on a path in art. Mrs. Hall recognized my artistic ability and helped me find a meaningful place in the school by assigning me to create elaborate blackboard chalk drawings for all the school events and holidays. This simple thoughtful act helped my self-esteem and set my life’s path in art. She suggested that I apply to the High School of Art and Design in ManhattanThat school was a revelation – it valued something at which I was innately good – creating art.  It was a place to explore a variety of art disciplines: photography, watercolor, sculpture, graphics, advertising, drawing, and painting.  By the third year I was required to choose between a fine art or a commercial art focus.  Although my real love was fine art, I had to find a way of earning a living, so I chose commercial art.  However, throughout my life I have never given up my love of fine art and the self-expression of painting.  To be candid, during those last two years I skipped as many academic classes as possible to sit in on unassigned painting classes taught by Tom Wasselmann.  Nevertheless, I graduated successfully in 1964.It was impossible for me to attend college due to cost – I simply had to find work and earn money.  Venturing out in Manhattan with my portfolio of illustrations and graphic designs in hand, I found some part-time work in small advertising agencies that lasted about two years.  I was able to parlay that experience into a full-time position as a book designer at Macmillan Publishing.  Within a few years I launched my first graphics design business ”Creative Publishing Concepts” located in Manhattan.

 

While earning a living in graphic design I was also studying and developing my drawing and painting skills: I drew and painted on evenings and weekends, I visited galleries and museums in Manhattan at every opportunity, and took studio-painting classes with John Gundelfinger at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.  In this way, I was able to balance painting and graphics and developed sufficient skills to obtain commissions, have my paintings exhibited, and win awards as an art director.

 

My career in graphic design and fine art has been greatly influenced by an amalgam of family, colleagues, authors, artists, friends, educators and the vast resources available to me in New York City.  In graphics I was and am inspired by the work and design principles of Josef Albers and Paul Rand, and in painting by Modigliani, Matisse, Picasso, De Kooning, and Warhol.

 

One of my most rewarding professional experience was a painting commission in 2005 to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  Nancy Sciotto, Vice President of Operations at the National Electrical Manufactures Representative Association (NEMRA) commissioned the work.  The original painting "Play Ignorant" was auctioned in New Orleans, the auction price and the sales of prints were donated to the Habitat for Humanity/New Orleans to build a home in the Musician’s Village. 'It was a great privilege to be part of this effort.' "

This event and the sale of most of the posters was handled by Don Bennett.

The Preservation Band of New Orleans and Edward Burke
at the Paramount theater in Peekskill, NY