Biography for Valerie C. Burton
Educated in photography in Toronto, Canada, Valerie received the first Master of Fine Arts degree with a major in photography ever granted in Ontario. She has been an instructor of photography in Toronto, at Ryerson University and in France at Parson’s School of Design, Paris and Tufts University. She has been a fine art and commercial photographer since that time, working in Canada and in France. Directing a gallery of photographic art, The Burton Gallery in Toronto, she curated one of the first spaces in Canada dedicated solely to contemporary photography. In 1995, Valerie wrote and illustrated a best-selling instructional book of photography for children. She has exhibited widely, in Canada and internationally, and her work is featured in many public and private art collections.
This body of work was done over a 10 year period at various places in Mexico first, and then many others in Canada. In 2004 the images were a solo show called Otono Indigena at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg Ontario and part of the annual Day of the Dead exhibition at the Mexican Fine Art Museum in Chicago. The travel and materials for these shows were subsidized by grants from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canada. The photographs are printed 20"x20"on paper in editions of 10 some of which are sold out, but other editions are available, including one printed on canvas.
Made at the Kingalik Jamboree in Holman, Victoria Island NWT in the Canadian Arctic, June 2004. The temperature was 32oF
Calgary Stampede, Alberta Canada July 2004
Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa
Old Massett Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) British Columbia Canada
Calgary Stampede Alberta Canada 2004
Ocotlan, Oaxaca Day of the Dead Festival 2001
Semana Santa, Taxco Mexico 2004
Oaxaca Mexico 1999
Street vendor of decorations for tombs in the cemeteries, Oaxaca, Mexico 1997
Skidegate, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) British Columbia, Canada
Day of the Dead, Oaxaca, Mexico 1997
This new body of work, still in development, is a series of street art in environment, chosen to demonstrate political social and religious sentiments and comments. The black and white photographs are printed as 20"x20" fine art photographs on paper, and some will ultimately be printed on canvas and painted with acrylics to make them into unique embellished paintings.
Lisbon, Portugal 2011
Rome, Italy 2011
Barcelona, Spain 2011
London England 2011
Florence Italy 2011
London England 2011
Naples Italy 2011
The Chinese images were made for Plan International in China in 2000. Yan Qing is a village about an hour from Beijing and Yulin in the west of China near the Mongolian border. The majority of farmers in this region live in caves carved out of clay hills which are terrased to grow wheat and almond trees. The cave homes consist of two rooms, one for living and cooking and another with a big sleeping platform, heated by the stovepipe for the family to use together. Dust storms make living there a hard life, but the soil is fertile and the people make do. There are milage markers on the roads put there by Kublai Khan.