Feb 1 — Mar 31, 2019
S. Kay Burnett: Emails From Paris


The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art presents Emails From Paris, an exhibition of encaustic paintings and sculptures by artist S. Kay Burnett. The exhibition will by on view in the First Gallery from February 1 to March 31, 2019.

In 1996, S. Kay Burnett got the opportunity to work and live in Paris for six months. Email was a fairly new means for communicating and she used it to send a series of newsletters she entitled “Emails From Paris.”

While she developed her love of art during her time in Paris, it took another ten years before she started painting. When Burnett began pursuing art and storytelling full-time, she decided to draw on her time in Paris to tell a visual story as well as a written one. A story about two times in her life, then as a writer, and now as an artist.

For Burnett, every new painting is a journey. A discovery about the emotions and memories evoked and the skill’s needed to convey the story she wants to tell. Sometimes there’s a struggle, or fear, or trepidation. Has she reached beyond her skill set? Can she really convey what she feels and sees? Paintings like Cupid’s Kiss stir all those questions and concerns.

Other paintings, like Toy Boats, are a celebration of life. People enjoying a Sunday afternoon in the gardens, parents playing with their children, sailing toy boats on the pond and watching the fountain sprays that help propel the boats across the water. This is the Paris she remembers captured in colorful wax.

For A Gargoyle in Paris, Burnett collaborated with her husband, Gerry, to create whimsical characters using simple wood and paper forms, wire, paper clay, and encaustic medium. A Gargoyle in Paris is the story of Dev, short for “Tiny Little Devil,” and his gargoyle friends and how they like to spend their time enjoying life.

Burnett hopes the encaustic paintings and sculptures will evoke wonderful memories, fill you with a sense of joy, and encourage you to find your own joie de vivre.

About the Artist

S. Kay Burnett worked in the computer industry for thirty-four years. During that time, she worked as a scientific programmer, developed interactive software for children, and wrote online documentation. She’s published and presented scientific papers, been a guest artist at the CSU Summer Arts program teaching interactive creative writing, and taught several interactive multimedia workshops.

She is the author and illustrator for “Emails From Paris,” a digital memoir/art book that includes over thirty encaustic illustrations, and “A Gargoyle in Paris,” a children’s picture book illustrated with encaustic sculptures. The original artwork in both of these books are featured in her exhibition at SLOMA.

Related Programming

February 8–10, 2019: Encaustic workshop with Michelle Belto. Call SLOMA to register.

Thursday, March 7, 12 PM: Art at High Noon with S. Kay Burnett. Free and open to the public.


Join SLOMA for an opening reception in conjunction with Art After Dark on Friday, February 1 from 6 to 9 PM (members-only preview 5 to 6 PM).

Banner image: Paris Metro.

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