In the beginning of this fall semester, the metal arts class ran into a dilemma. The professor who was scheduled to instruct the course had a situation which caused her to drop out by the time four of our classes had passed. This is when the head of the Fine Arts Department and the Dean were willing to help the students get into another class if they were not able to find another professor.
That would have been okay for the non-veteran students, but it was a problem for the vets for they must have their classes verified and certified by the VA. The head of the Fine Arts Department asked us to give him until the next Monday for him to hire a new professor, and with luck he found Matthew Burke, who just happened to move into the area.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the head of the Fine Arts Department and the Dean, we now can have the metal arts class this semester. Professor Burke has us up to date on our projects and how to use the equipment in the shop.
“Matthew Burke lives in Topsham, Maine with his wife, Melissa, and son, Angus, and is grateful for the many wonderful people in his life. He teaches sculpture, drawing, woodworking, metalworking and themes in art and ecology. His teaching and studio practice revolve around creative engagement with habitat and community. Before joining the faculty [at Southern Maine Community College], he developed the Art and Ecology program at the University of Kansas that enabled students to study environmental issues and topics through combined creative practice and critical study. While at KU, he held a dual appointment in Visual Art and Environmental Studies and he also served as department Chair. His teaching is deeply influenced by the work of Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf school movement. He is a member of the New Perennial Project, a creative ecology collective associated with The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Matt’s creative works span a range of materials and interests. Through constructed objects, outdoor installations, and interactive works, he seeks to direct attention to the inherent interconnectedness among the world. Recent projects include, The Sun Hive Project, a collaborative effort with his Sustainable Art class that furnished beehives for local Kansas farmers; and the Neighborhood Pocket Libraries Project, which utilized reclaimed lumber to produce small libraries sited in residential neighborhoods. In June 2017, he exhibited When We Hear Water, at the Salina Art Center, which focused on the expansive sound of falling water. Matt received his B.A. from Colby College 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 Brooklyn Museum of Art in NY, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, among others. His work is in several museums and collections including, the Museum of Modern Art Library, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Institute of Art Library.” https://usm.maine.edu/art/matthew-burke