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City of Homestead News

Posted on: December 5, 2014

Local Retired Art Teacher participates in Vice Mayor Stephen Shelley’s Artist in the Spotlight

The latest artist chosen to exhibit art work in the halls of the William F. Dickinson Community Center as part of Vice-Mayor Stephen Shelley’s ongoing Artist in the Spotlight Program introduced herself during November’s Special Council Presentation.

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Mary Dee Burkhart is a long-time Homestead resident who originally hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a former Miami-Dade Public Schools art teacher, Mrs. Burkhart holds multiple degrees in Fine Arts, Art Education and Adult Education and has taught on all grade levels in the public school system. Upon her retirement, Mrs. Burkhart has returned to her first love of teaching the principles of the visual arts to adult students.

“In my art, I don’t want to stick to any particular subject or style,” says Mrs. Burkhart. “I show images that start from observation of real life, from memory, or from photographs, but I rarely stop there. I add ideas of my own that come from the act of painting. I change my original plan as I work, using different color combinations, textures, contrast effects, and spatial relationships. When I see that I’ve created a design that has harmony and serenity, then I know that this piece of art is finished.”

Vice-Mayor Shelley related an interesting story about the day he first met Mary Dee Burkhart. “I remember when I was going door-to-door during my campaign last year, a very kind and inquisitive lady received me into her home where I saw some magnificent art work displayed on the walls. That was Mary Dee Burkhart and her work. I am so very pleased that she has the chance to share her considerable talents with the rest of our community.”

Ms. Burkhart is also taking advantage of her time in the spotlight by sharing her knowledge with aspiring artists – novice to advance. Ms. Burkhart will hold a free painting demonstration at the William F. Dickinson Community Center, 1601 N. Krome Avenue, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10th and at the Homestead Old Town Hall Museum, 41 N. Krome Avenue, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17th. These classes are open and free to the public. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who has an interest in art and would like to continue their learning skills or to tap into your inner artist that you didn’t know was there!

The Artist in the Spotlight Program, created in 2010 by Vice-Mayor Shelley, seeks to identify local artists and provide them an opportunity to exhibit their work to the local community. Mrs. Burkhart’s work will be on display through the month of December at the William F. Dickinson Community Center at 1601 N. Krome Avenue and the Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum, 41 N. Krome Avenue, Homestead, FL.

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