As Tacocat Cooperative approaches it’s one year anniversary, I am hoping to interview all it’s members. I have already interviewed founder, Adam Brouillette and mixed media artist, Lisa McLymont. Now it’s Christopher Burk ‘s turn!
As a founding member of the co-op, Christopher has had a studio since it’s inception last year. Around four months ago, he quit his day job in corporate America to become an official full-time working artist. ‘I had been working both the day job and artist positions full time, so the moment thankfully came to shed one for the other. I then created a business name of Roofline Studios’ (also the name of his Etsy.com shop). In addition, he sells his work via Brandt-Roberts Galleries located in the Short North and in New York City via The Road Gallery.
Previous to having the studio at Tacocat, he worked out of his home (too many distractions; not conducive to art making). Artistically speaking, he thinks that having a studio space in a facility with other artists has been beneficial to his career in art. “It’s great to be surrounded by…like-minded individuals, especially when I need an impromptu critique. Another benefit…has been connecting with new collectors and other artists with an open studio’ during the openings and events in the gallery space.
When asked about why he chose art, he states:
I have ALWAYS considered myself as an artist, even at a young age (from elementary through high school, I attended CCAD’s Saturday school for children). The need to create is just part of who I am. I spend the majority of my time in the studio – the work never ceases. Although, there was a time a few years ago when I lived in New York City that I rarely created new work. One would think that living in a metropolis like New York would be boundless in its inspiration yet for me that was not necessarily the case. The stress of working long hours to maintain “an everyday sort of life” due to the high cost of living, etc. took its toll. The opportunities to make artwork were so limited and I had had enough. It was time to focus back onto being happy and the art making so after living there for six years I decided to pack it up and relocate back to Columbus. I chose Columbus because not only am I originally from here and the majority of my support system is as well but the city’s relatively low cost of living along and with what I felt was more freedom to actually live here and make it as an artist due to less competition than much larger cities. The art community in our city has been and is very welcoming and supportive.
Born and raised in Columbus, he has fine arts training from both CCAD and the University of Akron. He works as a full time artist from his studio at Tacocat. His art could be categorized as urban landscape painting.
The everyday landscape with its unique compositions that surrounds me on a daily basis serves as my inspiration. I am constantly searching of something new; unique forms and compositions, for example, which most individuals would walk past without ever taking notice – are just some of the things that I am constantly seeking to spotlight in my work. Mundane elements are always the players in my settings.
His normal mode of creating consists of driving or walking around the older neighborhoods of Columbus and capturing compositions in photo form and then transforming the images into paintings. Why urban landscape painting?
There has really never been a choice with the subject matter and perspectives that are involved with my artwork. I’ve just always viewed the world this way – in my mind it’s involuntary. The yearn to present the mundane in our everyday landscapes, especially the urban kind and it’s manmade elements intertwined with the organic are the major contributors in my need to continue this work.
Right now, Christopher has one painting on display at the Cox Fine Arts Center for this year’s Ohio State Fair. Then, on August 15th, Tacocat Co-op will be hosting an opening for their one year anniversary exhibition titled Re-exposed. In this exhibition, he will have two paintings on display in the gallery space and additional work that will be available for purchase in his studio.
But that’s not all! In November, he will have work on display for a curated urban landscape exhibition that will include fifteen other artists from Ohio at the Riffe Gallery on the first floor of the Riffe State Office Tower(this exhibit will run from mid-November through mid-January).
AND he was also chosen as a finalist in the GCAC’s (Greater Columbus Arts’ Council) 2014 fellowship awards. He will now be a candidate to participate in the artist exchange program with Columbus’ sister city; Dresden, Germany. The council will select two artists and the residency will be announced in September 2014.
Woot! Wishing him the best of luck…will keep you posted on what transpires but what an honor to be a finalist! You go Mr. Burk!!!
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