We recently connected with Page Burch and have shared our conversation below.
Page, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. What’s been the most meaningful project you’ve worked on?
The KSU Master Craftsman program that I run recently worked with the William Root House Museum & Garden in Marietta to complete a memorial monument for enslaved people of the region. Students created designs, met with representatives from the Root House, and ultimately created the finished sculpture. The piece is a serial plane sculpture made from weathering steel, so when it is viewed head-on it appears to be invisible, yet when viewed at an angle a human form appears, standing proudly. We created a digital scan of model Misha Harp, a living history interpreter, and used that as a basis to create 3-D prints and the files needed to create the full-size sculpture. The sculpture helped to recognize forgotten and marginalized people, and gave students an excellent opportunity to help better the area through creative placemaking.
Page, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I run the Master Craftsman program and teach sculpture and other art courses at Kennesaw State University. We work with clients in the community to design and create student-made artworks. The program allows students to understand what it is like to work as a professional artist while they are still in school. The community benefits by receiving high-quality artworks designed by stakeholders in the area. We use this collaborative approach with many different clients and have to use creative problem-solving in order to create successful works of art that meet the client and community’s needs. Every project is different and requires creative solutions that students must work around, giving them more experience and confidence in their skills upon matriculation. I am very proud to say that students from all disciplines take part in the class and work together to create public sculptures that positively impact the community.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
The most rewarding thing for me, personally, is seeing the positive change in students when they leave my classes. Many students come into the Master Craftsman program with very limited skillsets and leave having created professional-quality artworks that are installed in the community. They may do so on an individual basis or as part of a group effort, but they always learn a new skill set and put it to great use. Seeing this transformation over a number of months always makes me very proud and leaves me feeling very fulfilled.
Have you ever had to pivot?
Because of the events of the pandemic over the last two years, this answer could be a novel. Due to clients losing funding, supply chain shortages, shipping delays, and a host of other reasons, we have had to pivot every semester since the pandemic began. In the Spring of 2020, I had an entire class of students working on a large-scale memorial monument for the Acworth Police Department, as well as another project. When Covid-19 closed the campus, I was forced to begin working on these projects by myself. Since students were not allowed to come to campus they were losing valuable studio time and educational opportunities. I finished both projects by the end of the semester, which was nice, but it was just very unfortunate for the students who were excited to work and be a part of something and then had the opportunity yanked out from under them.
- Website: www.pageburch.com
- Instagram: ksumastercraftsman
- Other: KSU School of Art and Design Homepage: https://arts.kennesaw.edu/visual-arts/index.php