Robert Burden (BFA '05)
My time at Queen's was invaluable. I think it was difficult for me to see the importance of many aspects of the degree until after graduating in 2005. At a school where it often felt like the BFA Studio Program was the forgotten stepchild of the University, it had a remarkable variety of important artistic resources at its disposal, not least of which was the wonderful and passionate faculty. Ontario Hall was a beautiful building on the outside, and a place of intimate and creative experimentation on the inside. I chose Queen's because of it's reputation overall. Being able to take many different types of classes in different fields was every bit as important to my artistic growth as the studio time itself. Also, having the Agnes Etherington Art Center just a block away was something that I admittedly took for granted while I was there.
In 2005 I moved to California where I began my MFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was there that I became influenced by the vibrant Lowbrow, Pop-Surrealist, and Street Art scenes that are prominent and lively aspects of California culture. I graduated in 2007, having received a Murphy/Cadogan Fellowship from the San Francisco Foundation and the Irene Pijoan Memorial Painting Award from SFAI. I then began exhibiting primarily on the west coast in established Pop galleries like Roq La Rue in Seattle, La Luz de Jesus in Los Angeles, and White Walls/Shooting Gallery in San Francisco. I've been a part-time faculty member of the Adult Continuing Education Department at the San Francisco Art Institute, and more recently have taught oil painting at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville. I continue to live and paint in San Francisco.