Q&A with Artist Anthony Burks Sr.

Anthony Burks Sr. Biennial 2019Anthony Burks Sr. is a name familiar to those in the South Florida arts community. A graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Burks’ work has been exhibited at galleries, museums and events in the area for over 25 years. You’ve almost certainly seen his work on display at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, the Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square, CONTINUUM WPB Arts amd Paul Fisher Gallery, among previous shows here at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Along with his wife, Trina, Burks is also a co-founder of A.T.B. Fine Artists & Designers, an art-based consulting firm that creates, sells, promotes and educates art of different disciplines nationally.

Burks is one of the 33 artists selected for “Biennial 2019” for two recent works from his “Red Rooted Ground” series: “Rhino Tree” and “Elephant Tear.” To mark the occasion, we asked Burks a few questions about his work, his process and what’s next!

Give us a short description of your process: from the first idea/inspiration to the final touch.

Anthony Burks Sr. (AB): The art comes from my every day surroundings. Whatever touches my soul emotionally at that given time is what comes from my brain through my hands. It can be the colors of God’s creature from nature or an individual I come in contact with just walking by at a restaurant.  Whatever moves me at that moment can end up being my subject.

I sketch out the drawing or find my reference and then go straight to it. With my animal concepts, the eyes are always done first, because for me that’s what tells the story of the animal’s life.  I always start the detail using color pencils. 

What can attendees expect from your work on display at the Cultural Council’s “Biennial 2019”?

AB: The images [from the “Red Rooted Ground” series] represent the tree and what experiences that took place by the animals that cohabitated around its environment.

Who are some of your artistic influences (dead or alive)?

AB: My art teacher Mrs. Grandusky has been an influence in my life. As her student, she allowed us to be our creative selves as individuals. Be our own best artistic self and not try to be like other artists who came before us. 

What’s next for you and your work?

AB: I presently working on my solo exhibition for the new season [with ATB Fine Artists & Designers]. I am also expanding my line of wearable art, primarily silk scarves.