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IRC Artist Spotlight – Andy Burnam

The Artist Spotlight showcases local artists and how they see Indian River County in their own eyes. Whether it is a recreation of a scene or an abstract piece that was inspired by a location or business we want to include them all.  This month’s artist is Andy Burnam! To learn more about this amazing artist check out the following Q&A and some photos of his work!

Special thanks to the Cultural Council of Indian River County for helping us select these amazing artists!

1. How long have you lived or have been visiting Indian River County?

We have had friends in Indian River County for many years, and have been visiting here since the 1970’s, moving here permanently in 2013.

2. What do you love the most about experiencing our county?

In my opinion, Indian River County is one of the premier locations in this country in which to settle.  The climate is ideal. The surroundings are beautiful. It abuts the Atlantic Ocean, with its Gulf Stream, which helps to moderate weather changes.  Importantly, it is sparsely settled so that traffic problems here are almost non-existent. Also, very importantly, for a county its size, it has more cultural activities than any other place I can imagine. It also has very good shopping as well as dining opportunities. 

3. Which part of Indian River County inspires you to create your pieces?

My residence location has several lakes and small ponds which many species of bird life enjoy.  Thus, I have a large collection of essentially all of the major birds of Florida which I have painted.

4. How long have you been working in this medium?

Presently, I work almost exclusively in either acrylics or pastel. I have been using both for about 20 years.

5. Are you self-taught or did you go to school for art?

Although never attending a formal art school, I have attended many, many workshops with prominent instructors. These art workshops and continuing sessions have been in North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, and Europe. In Europe, I spent a full week working with a well known impressionist in Monet’s Garden.  In addition, I spent another week working with another well known artist on Lake Como.

6. What motivated you to dedicate your time to your art?

Who knows how your genome was created to have an artistic interest?  It has always been so, which, I believe, led to my professional career, largely devoted to cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

7. What is your favorite area in Indian River County that is off the beaten path?

I can’t say that I have one that is “off the beaten path.”  We love just going to the beach front parks and utilizing their boardwalks and experiencing the ocean and its refreshing breezes.

8. Is this a hobby or your business?

I think of it as a hobby with part-time business interests. It is not my primary source of income, but I have sold a great many paintings.

9. What can our followers and readers expect from you in the future in terms of creative expression?

I have always been somewhat prolific in my artistic output. I expect that to continue, endeavoring to  produce works that are recognizable but have an expressionistic/impressionistic flair.

A brief bio…
After completing internship/residency at Duke University, I spent two years in the U.S. Navy, a year of which was on a hospital ship in Vietnam. Thereafter, I joined the teaching faculty at the University of Miami Medical School. After spending almost two years there, I chose a career in private practice, combining the specialties of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery with Facial Plastic Surgery. Most of my work in the last fifteen years of practice involved cosmetic surgery as well as reconstructive surgery for major skin cancers.  Although I dabbled in painting throughout my life, it was on retirement some twenty years ago that I took up painting seriously.  Since that time I have been involved in many, many workshops and artistic endeavors in learning the craft. Although I am fairly comfortable with my level of artistic achievement, learning goes on. Striving for improvement never ends, and it is in the end result that satisfaction is achieved.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Andy Burnam and how Indian River County has been his home and inspiration at times. Come back next month to see our next spotlight!