Spring 2011

[Alumni News]

Stephanie Dawn Burke

Anything But ‘Still’ Life

Stephanie Dawn Burke, self portrait

RECENT GRADUATE STEPHANIE DAWN BURKE (‘07, Studio Art, Anthropology) is finding that her only still moments are the ones captured in her photographs.

Since earning her Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Art Institute in Chicago, Burke has become a busy and recognizable figure in the windy city’s art scene.

After first moving to Chicago, Burke and her husband, Jeriah Hildwine (‘02, Studio Art, History), were excited to explore the city’s deeply varied art scene. But they found it difficult to navigate. “That’s what inspired me to do the blog,” she says.

Burke’s blog, “The Gallery Crawl,” became the comprehensive source for art exhibits and openings that Chicago’s scene lacked. And the art community recognized her efforts.

“I was called by someone who had seen my blog,” Burke says, about being approached to work for Art Talk Chicago. She soon became Editor in Chief of the publication.

Burke has also been Managing Editor of Chicago Art Magazine, and is currently a columnist for the Bad at Sports art website and an art teacher with Wilbur Wright Community College and Hyde Park Art Center.

“It’s insanity,” Burke says. “I work all the time. I have very little down time. We have to leave town periodically just to revamp.”

In her free time, Burke works on her own art. Her current work focuses on two main themes.

One is related to gun culture, largely inspired by the annual firearms display she and Hildwine attend in Knob Creek, Ky. The two are also working on a project called “Shooting with Artists,” Burke says. “We take our friends who are artists and teach them to shoot.”

The other area of Burke’s current work is more sentimental, she says. “I’m going to places that have personal history to me and showing how they’ve decayed.”

Despite her current frenzy of projects, Burke envisions a long-term future in art. “I just want to find some way to work forever in art,” she says. And she offers her own advice on how to make that happen.

“The moral of the story is you have to be everywhere constantly,” Burke says. “There’s a degree of ‘right place, right time.’ But you don’t get to there without persistence and networking. I’m there when things are discussed and I make sure people can’t ignore me.”