Artist Tina Burke, a resident of the Stonehaven neighborhood in southeast Charlotte, creates beautiful wearable art using silk scarves, wraps and kimonos as her canvas.She also creates framed works of art in silk, with themes of stylized flowers or other designs.“The main influence on my work is my love for botany,” Burke said. Her pieces are colorful, drawing inspiration from nature.“I have a pretty crowded garden,” she said. “I’m a plant collector.”If Burke had followed her original plan, she might have become a musician.Burke, 60, moved to Charlotte in the late 1960s and intended to be a musician like her father, Aleo Sica, a violinist who taught at Queens University of Charlotte for many years.Burke studied piano, flute and violin, but said she found she did not enjoy musical performance in college. To her parents’ surprise, she turned to visual art instead, and has not had any second thoughts.Burke’s passion for art is evident as she described a class she took in New Mexico last year, in which she learned to treat silk surfaces with a liquid soy mixture to enhance the ability to paint on the silk.In addition to making her own art, Burke taught art as a public schoolteacher at East Mecklenburg High School, Providence High School and other schools before her retirement.She came out of retirement briefly for a recent interim teaching assignment at Charlotte Country Day School, where she worked in the sculpture and ceramics studio, coming away with a new interest in clay.Burke’s husband, John, is an information systems manager at Charlotte Country Day.Burke offers private art lessons in her home to students. She often helps high school juniors and seniors assemble portfolios to gain admission to college art programs.Art teachers must be generalists, Burke said, comfortable in various artistic disciplines. In addition to creating original dyed silk pieces, Burke dabbles in flameworking, a type of glasswork used to create small items such as glass beads. She also does oil painting and printmaking, and makes jewelry.But silk art is her focus.Burke is represented by Charlotte Fine Art in Carmel Village. She was one of the first artists the gallery worked with when it opened in 2011. Her silk work on display there is part of an effort to highlight unique works by local and regional artists during the holiday gift-giving season.An array of scarves is among her items featured at the gallery.Gallery owner Joni Purk said she is impressed with how Burke conducts research and attends workshops to hone her craft, always wanting to improve.“She’s just the best silk artist that I’ve come across,” Purk said.
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
Artist does best work on silk
After trying music, she discovered love of art
Silk artist Tina Burke, whose work is on display at Charlotte Fine Art in Carmel Village, creates wearable art such as dyed silk wraps and scarves. HOPE YANCEY
Learn more: Visit Charlotte Fine Art at http://charlottefineart.com or email email@example.com. Silk scarves by Tina Burke are $45 at the gallery; wraps are $125. The gallery is at 7510 Pineville-Matthews Road in Carmel Village shopping center in Charlotte. Reach Tina Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org for lessons in how to dye silk.