Benefit v.15 Artist Interview: Bursting through Winter with Justin Bursk

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At Benefit v.15, Win Back the Winter with our annual silent art auction and fundraiser on Saturday, February 7 at Crane Arts. Get your blood pumping in a mobile bidding war, featuring 250+ pieces of art. This week we’re featuring artists who tame the tides of winter, harnessing cool tones and natural formations in painting, photography, and sculpture.

Justin Bursk spins homemade humor into landscapable laughter, as the dream of exploration and adventure is broken down into basic shapes and bold colors. Read more about his influences and experience, as well as the piece he’ll have up for auction, in an exclusive interview below.

Could you tell me a bit about your arts background?

I graduated from Tyler in ’97 with a BFA in painting and an Art ed. certification and went right into teaching public school and maintaining a studio practice and showing regionally. I have taught for 16 years with 10 years at the high school level and the last three at the elementary level. I graduated from UArts with a MFA in painting in 2002. I have participated in mainly group shows nationally and had a solo exhibition at 110 church street gallery in 2013.

How do you go about choosing objects to work with?

My studio practice is driven by a love of process, my materials typically have some loaded connection such as blue = water/sky , green = grass/land, sail = voyage, 2 circles = look/see. My objects typically have a tangible quality of the handmade and resist any polish.

You emphasize the importance of play in your work. Do you find that having a playful attitude is an essential quality to ‘winning back the winter’, and recapturing the childhood love for the snowier season?

I feel it is important to find opportunities to laugh even in the bitter cold. This season breeds adventure and epic journeys, even if it is just getting to your car in the morning.

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Can you tell me a little about the piece you are donating for the Benefit?

The piece I am donating is an image of a sail with two circles overlapping it on top of a sea scene. I use these images as a framework for me to act and to create a situation for the viewer to interact. It is titled “Last call”, which has many conceptual/metaphoric connections that again build a framework for the viewer and myself to play with “meaning”

Have you participated previously in the Benefit? If so what was your impression?

I have participated in a couple of InLiquid’s benefits before. It is always a great opportunity to see a lot of great work at an affordable price. I like beer, conversation, and art and this event has all three.

Bid on Justin Bursk’s work in advance on the auction site, or join us at Benefit v.15 on Saturday, February 7. Click here to purchase tickets at the advance price.

Lauren Sweeney
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