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Edward A. Burke"Persistant Thoughts"


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 was raised in Brooklyn, attended The High School of Art & Design in Manhattan and graduated in 1964. He continued his art education at the School of Visual Arts while working as a full time commercial artist in small advertising agencies around New York City. His serious pursuit of painting began in 1970. Simultaneously he was also developing his 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 Manhattan

That 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 I 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.

My most rewarding professional experience was a painting commission to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The National Electrical Manufactures Representative Association (NEMRA) commissioned the work. The original painting 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.”