Artist of the Month
artist Burke uses a
technique lost in todays world
hobby has turned
into a lucrative passion
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (November 2012) Obsessed with
art since she was a young child, Rebecca Burke has taken this fascination
to a new level through the artisanship of book-making. She makes each
distinctive piece with the utmost care and treats it as if it were the
very last book she would ever make.
I love to journal, and it was fascinating to me to actually create
a vessel for this outlet on my own instead of buying one from a book
store, said Burke, 31. She has been working in this medium since
the spring, a hobby that quickly turned into a passion for this Oldham
Burke has turned
book making into
an art form.
I find the process of making a book soothing, especially
the sewing aspects. Its like quilting, except I am piecing together
paper instead of fabric. There is a quietness to it, and one must focus,
or one can make a costly mistake.
Burke will display her talents this month in La Grange, Ky., having
been selected as the November Artist of the Month at Gallery
104 on Main Street. The gallery is operated by the Arts Association
of Oldham County. A Meet and Greet reception is scheduled
from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.
Burke began her book making career by taking a class during a seminar
at Locust Grove. This past summer she took a more formal class with
Cathy Shepherd at Preston Art Center in Louisville.
After that class, my book making really took off, Burke
Many different things inspire Burke when creating her artwork. Inspiration
can be attributed to the idea of the end result of a beautiful
book,. Sometimes it can be turning glorious Japanese papers into functional
workhorses. Sometimes it can be the desire to please a certain someone.
Kathy Dowling, executive director of the arts association, said of Burke,
Rebecca is one of our newer artists who just juried in July 2012.
Dowling described Burke as a graphic artist who also creates folk
art in the form of handmade and hand-bound books. Her designs seem oriental
inspired, giving them a light and spiritual essence.
Dowling continued, saying, We are so happy to have her beautiful
works here and to have her talents as a volunteer.
Burke volunteered to be the Digital Committee Chairperson and help create
promotional posters, graphics and update the arts association website.
Burke is scheduled to teach a bookbinding class at Gallery 104 beginning
in January 2013.
Burke said her artwork is unique because it utilizes techniques
that are lost in the modern world. Both her Western and Japanese
book-making techniques hearken as far back as the 15th century. The
journals she crafts in the Western style are hand bound and use delicate,
beautiful Japanese papers on the covers. The notepads she crafts in
the Japanese style have modern colorful cardstock covers.
Each piece is small, affordable and is the only creative paper
art at Gallery 104, said Dowling.
Many project opportunities have come her way. Burke continues
to work as a contract freelance graphic designer. This year she designed
the front and back cover of A Hidden Madness, as well as
the interior content. This memoir was written by James T.R. Jones, a
law professor at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University
Jones said he was extremely pleased with the visual concept of the book
that Burke created. Rebecca did an excellent job helping me get
my book put together. I couldnt have done it without her help.
Jones knew Burke had the experience under her belt that he was looking
for and asked her to take on the project. I strongly recommend
her to any author who wants the best packaging for his or her story,
Burke is a member of several professional associations in addition to
the arts association, Others include the AIGA design group and the Louisville
Graphic Design Association. She joined the Arts Association of Oldham
County because I believe in the promotion of the arts in every
aspect throughout our hometowns. Art should be a part of everyones
lives in some form or fashion.
For more information, contact the Arts
Association of Oldham Countys Gallery 104 at (502) 222-3822.
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