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Artists come full circle

Matt Burnett, Tim Fortune join together for VIC exhibit

June 21, 2012
By MIKE LYNCH - Outdoors Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The student and the teacher have joined together.

In the late 1990s, Tim Fortune was an art professor at SUNY Potsdam. One of his students was Matt Burnett.

Now nearly two decades later, the two are joining together for an exhibit at the Paul Smith's VIC that will open Friday night. The reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be live music, refreshments and a cash bar.

Article Photos

Matt Burnett looks at one of his murals that will be on display on the Paul Smith’s VIC exterior starting Friday.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)

The show will feature Adirondack landscapes. Most of Fortune's paintings are large watercolors, although a few smaller oil paintings will be mixed in. The watercolors "depict powerful icons of nature."

"My intention is to capture the riveting, often solitary, moments that connect me with my surroundings," Fortune wrote in an artist statement about the watercolors.

Burnett will have some oil paintings on hand. In addition, he will be unveiling some large murals that will be displayed on the VIC's outside walls. The murals will similarly feature Adirondack landscapes but are not officially part of this show.

The inside show will be running from Friday until July 17 while the murals will remain for an entire year. There will be one mural for each of the four seasons.

Because of the student-teacher relationship and seasonal aspect of some of the paintings, Burnett is calling the show "Full Circle."

Fortune recalled that when Burnett was a young student he was extremely intent on becoming an artist.

"He was one of the enthusiastic student - very passionate about the work," Fortune said. "You could just see it in his face and in his demeanor when we talked about the work and when we painted. He was like a sponge and he just wanted information. I've taught a lot of students and Matt was right up there in terms of the passion for creating the work."

Burnett credits Fortune with being a great teacher and also helping introduce him to the artist scene in Saranac Lake.

"I really ended up here (in Saranac Lake) because of my relationship to (Tim)," Burnett said. "I would stop in every year or so and look at (his) work. The Adirondack Artists' Guild was in development and (he) got me connected with those people."

Burnett grew up on the Whitney Park property (now the William Whitney Wilderness Area) near the hamlet of Long Lake, where his father was employed. He is now an assistant professor at SUNY Canton, where he teaches in the graphic and multimedia design program. He also worked many years as an assistant forest ranger.

Fortune is a native of Saranac Lake. His works have been exhibited in the American Embassy in Guatemala as part of the Art in Embassies Program of the U. S. Department of State. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach. Fortune's work is also represented in the permanent collection of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.



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