This painting illustrates what COVID-19 has revealed in terms of health-care disparities within the US and globally. It was shown in the exhibition SOS: Planet Earth (catalogue available) at the Stola Contemporary Gallery in Chicago. This so-called “Hoax” is no joke. Living organisms are everywhere.This one is global. Covid-19 is represented here with the five colors of humanity as the spikes in order to demonstrate that the white population is not being effected as much as people of color. The words on the white spikes indicate some reasons why caucasians have been statistically less effected (more wealth, food security, better education, jobs, and healthcare) whereas the words on the other-colored spikes give many reasons underlying the health-care disparities COVID-19 has revealed. These issues cannot be ignored anymore. Try to put two words together. Try to fill in the question marks with you own words that you think this global pandemic has revealed. Because of structural racism, racial inequality and injustice, poverty, vaccine nationalism, etc, more people of color are suffering and dying from it. These issues are not just within the US but global.
This painting was first shown in the online version of the exhibition Liberty and Justice for All? (catalogue available) at the Stola Contemporary Gallery in Chicago. I heard John King on CNN call the GOP the ‘Grand Ostrich Party.’ After the insurrection on Jan 6th, 2021, this is what it looked like to me: police officers as well as MAGA supporters died that day and so did the old GOP. I memorialized the old GOP along with these people with tombstones. But there was a victory of a new party, the Grand Ostrich Party QAnon +, in its place, which was solidified with the second death of the GOP on Feb 13th, 2021, when the GOP refused to convict Trump. Although GOPQ+ is an obvious reference to LGBTQ+, here the + refers to all the other right-wing extremist groups that joined the Jan 6th Insurrection. I argue as well that this change in the old GOP really began in 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. with the Neo-Nazi supporter’s murder of Heather Meyer (who is also memorialized with a tombstone), which Trump responded to by saying there were good people on “both sides,” and arguably back to the election of 2016 that unleashed the heart of darkness within America.
The “Novel Corona King” editorial cartoon (from March 2020) was featured in “The Next Big Thing” (Aug-Sept 2020) at Studio Channel Islands, Ventura, CA and published in the article by Marta Hanson, “From Sick Man of Asia to Sick Uncle Sam,” Current Affairs (Sept 2020).
After three years at the U.S. Embassy of Croatia in Zagreb (March 2018-February 2021), the “States of Being II: Diverse,” painting has returned to the US. The exhibition remains on the website of the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies Program.
Kelly Burke has had a lifetime of painting and carpentry experience. She discovered the world of art while living abroad one year in Germany. She now enjoys painting on smaller surfaces like canvas and paper. She often makes her own frames and stretches her own canvases to better craft the size and material that best suits her paintings. Her political-conceptual artwork deals with major issues of our day related to social justice and racial injustice. The many paintings included in the “Reimagined American Flag” series push the symbolic potential of the 50 stars and 13 strips as artistic interventions intended to inspire constructive conversations that positively change the American psyche one flag, one person, and one conversation at a time. The many pieces in the “States of Being” series visually push the potential meanings of the 50 stars/states of the US flag at both the national level and the level of individual identity and consciousness. The Daily Issue series tackles US problems one reads about on the front pages of our newspapers from a visually symbolic perspective intended to spark conversation. Using materials from oil and acrylic paints to charcoals, pastels, and oil bars, she also captures animals with empathy and explores the world of abstract expressionism.
A portrait of your pet may also be commissioned. Please feel free to discuss the range of possible mediums most appropriate for the animal portrait you may wish to commission. Kelly donates 10% of the sale price of all her animal paintings to support the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS):
- Best of Show: “All Lives Matter Flag“ Painting, “Uniting the States: Giving Form to a Vision of Unity,” Community Art Therapy Services Online Exhibition, Jan 1-Feb 2, CA 2018
- First Place: “Orange, White, and Black” painting, Orange is the New Black Exhibition, Ashton Gallery, San Diego, CA 2017
- Honorable Mention: “Don’t Lives Matter? Flag” painting, Op Ed Exhibit, The Art League, Alexandria, VA 2016
- Viewers’ Choice Award: “All Lives Matter Flag” quilt, Home Arts, Quilts section, Maryland State Fair, 2016
- Third Place: “Black Lives Matter Flag” painting, “Art as Politics,” Touchstone Gallery, Washington, DC, 2016
- Faculty Choice Award: “Black Lives Matter Flag” quilt, non-judged section, Minnesota Quilt Show, 2016
- Mindy Todd, host of “The Point” at local NPR’s WCAI station of Cape Cod, interviewed Benton Jones, Executive Director of Cape Cod Museum of Art about the “We the People” exhibition (March 28, 2019). He briefly mentioned Kelly’s Collage Key for her ALM Flag as one of the art works representative of the show (7:22-7:44).
- Claudia Shambaugh, host of “Ask a Leader: Inquiring minds wanna hear,” at KUCI (K-University of California Irvine) radio station covered the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art’s “Art as Protest” exhibition (June 2017) in a public radio exchange titled Art as Protest in Santa Ana with the guest curator of the exhibition, Tyler Stallings. They focused specifically on the artist’s intention behind and people’s reaction to Kelly’s artwork “Reimagined American Flag Series: ALM flag.” The interview with Stallings starts at 30:49 and they discuss this painting from 35:20-39:05.
Other press mentions:
- Charleston City Paper review by Mary Scott Hardaway (3/7/2017) of Fabulon “We, The People” exhibition includes mention of all flags
- Carolina Arts News review by Tom Starland (3/11/2016) of Fabulon “We, The People” exhibition includes image of DLM flag
- The Art League, Flickr Exhibition of Op Ed Exhibit
- The Art League, the Op Ed Exhibit Program with list of awards & honorable mentions
- WHUT TV interviewed artists at the “Art as Politics” show in Washington, D.C. as part of their Artico program, including a segment on Kelly’s Black Lives Matter Flag: first aired 9/21/2016 (@10:16-14:22, of 26:47 mins)
- Penn State News review by Regina Broscius of Reimagined American Flag series show (9/7/2016)
- Montgomery News review of Penn State-Abington University show in the student union (9/7/2016)
- Washington Post review of BLM flag in “Art as Politics” show in Washington, D.C. (8/12/2016)
- East City Artnotes review of BLM flag in “Arts as Politics” show in Washington, D.C. (8/11/2016)
- The Schuler School of Fine Art, Animal portrait workshops, January 2013-January 2017
- The Mitchell School of Fine Art, Animal portrait class, Summer 2013
- MICA, School for Professional and Continuing Studies, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
- Klemens Wuttke, Atelier Eins, Nuremberg, Germany, January-August 2012
- Mira O’Brien, The Berlin Drawing Room, Berlin, Germany, July-September 2011