Karen Burk was the Head of the Ceramics Department at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design from 1983 to 2016. As an educator, she encouraged generations of students to search for self-truth and express their own personal aesthetic through their art-making practice. She has lectured and given workshops on ceramic technique, as well as on the creative process in colleges and universities across Canada and has been artist-in-residence in ceramics centres in Alberta and Vallauris, France.
She is an exceptional ambassador for her craft. In 1999, she visited China as part of a delegation of artists in an East-West Cultural Exchange for the first Yixing Pottery Conference in Yixing, China. In 2003, she was artist-in-residence at the Medalta International Residency Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta. In 2007, she participated in the Canadian Clay Ceramic Symposium with a demonstration, slide lecture and panel discussion. Most recently, Karen was invited to participate in an international artist-in-residence program by A.I.R. Vallauris in Vallauris, France.
Karen is an active member of the Fredericton arts community, supporting the work of other artists as a jury member for the New Brunswick Craft Council, the Nova Scotia Potters Association and the New Brunswick Arts Board.
In 2009, she was the recipient of a Canada Council Travel Grant. In 2008, she received an “A” grant from the New Brunswick Arts Board for senior artists who have made a nationally or internationally recognized contribution to their discipline. In 2004, she was nominated for the Strathbutler Award.
Karen Burk’s works can be found in public and private collections in North America, France and China. In 2007, one of her porcelain vessels was presented by the Premier of New Brunswick to the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean. In February 2015, Karen attended a reception with HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during the grand reopening of Canada House in London , England, where her work is on permanent display, as part of the collection of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Also in 2015, Karen’s work was purchased as a gift for Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Gordon Campbell.