Artwork from MSU Landscape Architecture Associate Professor to be exhibited at East Arbor Architecture on Feb. 7

On Feb. 7, 2018, East Arbor Architecture in East Lansing is hosting an art exhibition featuring the work of LA associate professor and artist Jon Burley I Bur Oak from his international travels with students during study abroad programs.

January 24, 2018

Painting by LA associate professor Jon Burley of Trafalgar Square in London.
Painting by LA associate professor Jon Burley of Trafalgar Square in London during a study abroad program with his students mapping human behavior.

On Feb. 7, 2018, East Arbor Architecture in East Lansing is hosting an art exhibition featuring the work of artist Jon Burley I Bur Oak, a Landscape Architecture associate professor at Michigan State University.

The "Seven Colours" exhibition will feature original paintings by Associate Professor Burley who has painted more than 200 oil paintings in his career on various themes and subjects. One of these themes is painting sites visited during his international travels with students during study abroad programs, primarily in urban European settings.

Burley painted the featured artwork from 2000 to 2012, from locations in the United Kingdom, Greece, France and Spain. Burley visited these places more than once. Then, the artwork were later painted in a studio in Michigan, and in a garage studio in Beaucouzé, France.

Trafalgar square London, England, is the subject of one of the paintings. This is a place that Burley often takes MSU study aboard students to study human behavior. The individuals shown in the painting are some of his students mapping human behavior at the start of the day, just after an early morning London spring rain.

“Usually, even if it is raining, I stay the whole day with the students—what is good for them is good for me too,” Burley said. “Often I will make a sketch or two as they map human behavior.”

As a personal preference, Burley chose a limited palette of colors for his paintings; only seven colors. Hence, the name of the art exhibition.

“In the art supply store there are too many colors of paint to choose and by using so many different colors the resulting image seems to not be in the same light, but more like a collage of different atmospheres and sunlight pieced together,” explains Burley. “

By being forced to mix the colors, the paintings may appear as if it is all in the same place and lighting conditions,” he said. “Claude Monet did this, limiting his palette and learned to use no black. Near black is approximated by mixing all of the dark colors together. Blue, purple and magenta comprise the shadows.”

The art exhibition officially opens on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 5-8 p.m, where Burley’s artwork will be on display until March 23, 2018. Learn more at Seven Colours Exhibition.

Planning and design involves both the sciences and the arts/humanities. For a university faculty member to have an art gallery showing or performance related to their work is often the equivalent in the arts and humanities as having a peered reviewed work in scientific journals.

“Since the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction blends both the arts and sciences in our academic programs, which include construction management, interior design, landscape architecture and urban & regional Planning, we are excited to have one of our faculty members honored in this way,” said Professor Ming-Han Li, director of SPDC. 

Please join us in congratulating Associate Professor Jon Burley!

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