Matthew Byram Burke, M.F.A.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - School of the Arts - Visual Art, Environmental Studies Program
Associate Professor
M.F.A., Sculpture, Queens College, CUNY
Primary office:
785-864-5664
Chalmers Hall
Room B001
University of Kansas
1467 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-3102
Second office:
No Address



Summary

Associate Professor Matthew Burke teaches sculpture, foundation, and drawings courses, as well as courses in art and ecology at the University of Kansas. His creative research ranges from the production of sculpture and drawing to large-scale, eco-based installations that integrate site, structure, and viewer. Burke received his B.A. from Colby College, in Maine and his M.F.A. in Sculpture from Queens College, C.U.N.Y. He has had numerous solo and group shows including, PS1 MoMA in Queens, NY, the Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY, the Brooklyn Museum of Art in NY, among others. His work is in several major museums and collections including, the Museum of Modern Art Library, the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Grants include several KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Travel Grants; Internship at New Energy Works, Portland, OR and a commission for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Education

M.F.A., Sculpture, Queens College, CUNY

B.A., Fine Arts, Colby College

Teaching

The discipline of sculpture serves several roles within a visual art curriculum. One, as it has always done, sculpture grounds the maker in the physical world. Even when employing digital technologies or ephemeral sources like light, sculpture is an encounter with the three axes of space and the forces of tension, compression, and gravity. Students who take sculpture repeatedly signal the reason “to work with my hands as I manipulate material” (I ask this question the first class of every semester.) Students know they will encounter this activity when they study sculpture, however, to the one, each student is amazed with how fundamental, and at times frustrating, grounding in the realities of material and gravity can be. Two, sculptural expression is unique in the fine arts for its proximity to the world of biologically living forms. (it was at one time referred to as a “plastic” art) As such, it forces the sculptor to gallantly struggle to possess the vitality of (living) form in her or his work. At times this struggle may not be relevant to the work, sculpture can not be defined so narrowly, but a decision must always be made. The “plastic” impulse is very much part of other visual disciplines, but the reliance on the quality of material in sculpture – almost its molecular energy vibration – means that sculpture must be considered dually from a conceptual as well as a material and formal line of inquiry. Everything is on the table in sculpture.

Teaching Interests

  • Wood working
  • Public art
  • Beginning building practices
  • Sculpture
  • Eco-art
  • Art
  • Drawing
  • Foundation studies
  • Sustainable and social practice
  • Timber framing
  • Ecology
  • Bee hives

Research

Associate Professor Matthew Burke teaches sculpture, foundation, and drawings courses, as well as courses in art and ecology at the University of Kansas. His creative research ranges from the production of sculpture and drawing to large-scale, eco-based installations that integrate site, structure, and viewer. Recent projects include, Riparian Reserve, a Kansas River sculpture collaboration with the Friends of the Kaw; Neighborhood Pocket Libraries (NPL) which are kiosk-sized libraries sited in residential neighborhoods and maintained by the community. Together with his Art and Ecology class, he is building and testing alternative bee hives, called Sun Hives, an invention of German bee keeper, Guenther Mancke. Additional projects include a partnership with The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Burke and KU students conceived and executed a 100th anniversary commemorative sculpture for the Bank. An Abounding Asset, The Diligent Reserve marked the first time the KC Reserve had worked in close partnership with an outside arts institution. Past contemplative land sculpture's include Iron Butterfly; 5 Folding; and Polis, in Missouri, Vermont, and Massachusetts respectively. Burke received his B.A. from Colby College, in Maine and his M.F.A. in Sculpture from Queens College, C.U.N.Y. He has had numerous solo and group shows including, PS1 MoMA in Queens, NY, the Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY, the Brooklyn Museum of Art in NY, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, among others. His work is in several major museums and collections including, the Museum of Modern Art Library, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Institute of Art Library. Grants include numerous KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Travel Grants; LexArts Community Development Grant; Internship at New Energy Works, Portland, OR and a commission for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Research Interests

  • Wood working
  • Public art
  • Beginning building practices
  • Sculpture
  • Eco-art
  • Art
  • Drawing
  • Foundation studies
  • Sustainable and social practice
  • Timber framing
  • Ecology
  • Bee hives

Service

Service is the mechanism by which the business of the institution is accomplished. The well-being of faculty, staff, and students is a foremost concern in service functions. Service is also important as a forum in which relationships can be nurtured, ones that may lead to fruitful teaching and research opportunities.

Selected Work

Selected Presentations

Selected Grants

Selected Awards & Honors

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One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
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