Joyce Burke and her art are well known among art enthusiasts throughout Nevada and Utah. She has been a watercolor painter and instructor for the many years that she has lived in Mesquite and Reno, garnering dozens of honors for her fine work.
Now the public has a unique opportunity to support the arts in the Virgin Valley and own one of Joyce’s beautiful paintings. Mrs. Burke has donated nine of her outstanding landscape and nature paintings to be offered for sale in a silent auction at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery. The proceeds from this auction will benefit the community art education programs of the Virgin Valley Artists Association.
Bidding opens to the public on September 29 when Burke’s paintings go on display at the Gallery at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite, Nevada. She is featured Artist of the Month, an honor reserved for active members of VVAA. Visitors to the gallery may enter written bids for their favorite paintings. Final Bids close on Thursday, October 23, when the lucky winners will be announced at a gala public reception, 4-6 p.m. Early bidders may be outbid, and should return to the gallery to make counter offers to secure the paintings of their choice.
Joyce’s art is an appropriate centerpiece in the gallery’s themed exhibition, “Dusty Trails,” that celebrates Nevada’s 150 Anniversary of Statehood. Burke has been a longtime Nevada resident, moving to the Mesquite area over 30 years ago with her husband, Mark, who managed the Western Motel, later the Mesquite Peppermill. The couple moved north to Reno with that company, and Joyce became deeply involved in the cultural life of Reno, founding the Sierra Watercolor Society. She exhibited her artwork in various competitions in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area. In 2001 she won the “Best Bets” People’s Choice Award sponsored by the Reno Gazette Journal. Her watercolors have won first place in competitions at the Nevada Artists Association State Fair, Nevada Watercolor Society Exhibition, and Northstar Abstract Watercolor competition.
After their retirement, Joyce and Mark returned to the Virgin Valley where Joyce jumped into the Virgin Valley Artists Association in its formative years. She showed her work in the opening year of the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery in 2003, and has been constantly active in all aspects of VVAA and the gallery since that time. Her painting, “Blooms–Ten“ won “Best of Show” award in the 2013 exhibition that marked the gallery’s tenth year. Joyce’s work was also featured at the Sears Gallery at Dixie State University in 2013, reaffirming her outstanding artistic capabilities and sense of natural beauty.
Joyce has been an ardent instructor, teaching special art classes for women at the Nevada State Prison during her residency in Reno. She has coached her fellow artists and demonstrated watercolor techniques at Southern Nevada art festivals on a regular basis over the past ten years. She has also been a longtime member of the venerable Southern Utah Watercolor Society.
Joyce found her artistic calling early, when children were quarantined during the polio epidemics in her teen years. She drew and painted to fill up the boring hours of homebound days. A teacher entered one of her paintings in the Kansas City Scholastic Art Competition, and she won an award, starting her on her lifelong artist’s journey. That journey has brought joy to her, her family, and the many admirers of her beautiful work. Joyce has recently relocated to Syracuse, Nebraska, to live near her daughter, Jeanine Terry French. She expects to continue her painting as she settles in her new hometown.
Virgin Valley Artists Association thanks Joyce for her long service and generous donation to the legacy of art education in our community. The public is encouraged to view, enjoy, and purchase her fine art when it goes on display on September 29. The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is located at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite Nevada, open Monday through Saturday,
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Her nine works may be viewed online at www.mesquitefineartscenter.com with a link to a video and still photos of her work on the gallery’s Facebook page. Call 702-346-1338 for more information.