Sculptor emphasizes organic materials at NAU Art Museum

Bird Art

The NAU Art Museum will host an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. April 15 for a new show, “Matthew Burke: Tendrils, Tunnels and Pathways,” that will be on display through June 18.

Burke, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas, works with organic materials to create oversized three-dimensional pieces of abstract artwork.

“In particular, the warm and flexible character of wood and the connection of this ancient material to the natural world has been a major influence in my work during the past 10 years,” said Burke in his artist statement. “My creative work process involves getting to know the inner character of wood by cutting, shaping and bending it until the particular qualities that I want to develop are revealed.”

The NAU Art Museum chose Burke’s work to display because of the scale, complexity and skill with which he produces his pieces.

“Matthew’s art transforms environments in a way that conventional, ‘on the wall’ work cannot,” said George Speer, director of the NAU Art Museum.

The NAU Art Museum is open noon to 5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. and closed all university holidays. Located on the corner of Knoles and McMullen Circle in the historic Old Main building, the museum is free and open to the public although a $2 per person donation is suggested. For information, visit or call (928) 523-3471.