About the Artist...
Ms. Burkert’s work is up-cycled, whimsical furniture created with an emphasis on color, pattern and quality craftsmanship to yield a visually fun piece of FUNiture. All works will be for sale.
Debra Burkert was an art teacher in Boyertown School District, in Pennsylvania, for 32 years. Upon retiring in 2015, she began her search for a retirement home in Ocean City where she has lived for the past two years. As a teacher, Debra also served as yearbook advisor, department leader, class advisor and Arts’ Expo coordinator. She taught many courses at Boyertown including AP Art, computer graphics, weaving, multimedia and painting.
During her tenure as an art teacher, she was named Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Art Educator of the year in 2005, and the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, named her an Outstanding Art Educator for 2006. She received her bachelors in art education from Kutztown University in 1983 and her Master’s in Art Education from Kutztown University in 1995. She also perused her passion for technology and graphic design by obtaining a certification in graphic design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2000. Additional credits in art education and technology were received from Penn State University and Philadelphia University of the Sciences.
In 2014, she began up-cycling and painting furniture. She enjoys taking her product to local street festivals along the Jersey shore. One of her pieces was featured in the Haddonfield show in 2018 and images of the piece were used in the show’s marketing campaign. “Being an art teacher makes me an up-cycler by nature. Art teachers cannot throw anything away. We have a super power, which allows us to turn ordinary objects into beautiful works of art, like turning a toilet paper roll into a flower vase for Mother’s Day. My work, FUNiture, began when I saw the beauty that discarded objects could have by adding some paint and a little pizazz. Restoring these items and giving them new life by transforming them into original, one of a kind works of art is very rewarding for me.” -Debra
Each piece of FUNiture is cleaned, prepped, primed then finger painted with acrylic paints. Details are added with small brushes and paint pens. Two coats of varnish preserve the piece for years of enjoyment. “It is my hope that these functional pieces of art will make customers smile, add some “Fun” to their home decor as well as create whimsical conversation pieces." -Debra