Written By Samantha L. Cooper, M.Ed.
As an artist in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida the connections one makes are a lifeline. In South Florida the grass roots efforts make a difference in ones success. Ed Burnette is part of a board that provides those clear go to points that allows an artist access and awareness to events. As the Executive Director on MASS District Board he along with board members help merge community beautification through art awareness. Not only is he an advocate of the arts but an active participant. On September 26th at 6 pm during Mass District Art-walk he will be hosting his first solo show called “Amor” Click here for event details. Join me on my one on one Q & A style interview with Ed Burnette.
WHO IS ED BURNETTE?
SAMM COOPER: Why should people in Broward support the arts now more than ever?
ED BURNETTE: The reason people should support the arts is because the arts are changing not only the the look of neighborhoods but the arts/artist are taking drugs and crime infested neighborhoods and giving them value by pushing out the bad elements.
Take MASS as an example just 2 years ago it was a dope spot. Prostitutes used to hang out on our corners, now their gone! Property values have gone up in our neighborhoods and the overall quality of living is better all due to the arts. So in short supporting the arts supports positive change in our growing city and county.
SAMM COOPER: Why is now the perfect time in Broward to showcase your solo art show called “Amor”?
ED BURNETTE: Now is a perfect time because I have been very active in the arts in soflo over the last year via #MASS Usually I’m promoting Mass other artist and other businesses. But this time I figured I would reintroduce myself to the public as a visual artist especially while I have everyone’s attention. It’s also an emotional time for me because I really didn’t know why I was in South Florida I was wanting to leave but my gut feeling was to stay.
When we created MASS and I found myself in the middle of one of the coolest strongest and positive art movements, I knew why I was supposed to be here. It made sense, I didn’t study art, I didn’t I plan on being an artist or even executive director of an art district. All of my past experience in business and life all culminating for this moment in time.
It just feels right and I’m very grateful that the universe chose me to be one of the driving forces behind Mass, as it is revitalizing our neighborhood its growing and will also be around long after I’m gone and that just puts tears in my eyes!
SAMM COOPER: I noticed you have a nickname of “Burnizee” and you sign your artwork with that name. What is the significance of the name “Burnizee”?
ED BURNETTE: The manifestation of a “Burnizee” is a really cool story. I ran a sales company for a long while and I had a team of people selling art reproductions for me. But since my suppliers were not supplying me with the kind of art that I needed for South Florida, I decided to create it. I created bright abstracts and my sales team would alert me every time one was sold with a text. The text would say, “Hey man I just sold all the Burnizee’s to one guy!”. The name Burnizee Is a take on my last name Burnette, like if I were to call you Coops or Cooperilla!
SAMM COOPER: What is your number one inspiration when creating your Burnizee’s?
ED BURNETTE: My main inspiration when creating my art is decor. I love walking into buildings and offices or homes that have really awesome art. When I’m creating a piece I’m imagining the environment that it would be in. What space it would look best in and I go from there. Usually, I know what colors I’m going to use but each design is usually an experiment.
SAMM COOPER: When people check out the “Amor” Art Show what is one thing that should be left on their minds?
ED BURNETTE: I just want people to know that even though its an art show. The art is just a reason for us to come together to share this moment. As humans we all search for love of some sort, but in 2008 I looked in the mirror and realized that everything I was ever looking for was right in front of me.
So I set out on a quest, a journey to become the best me I could ever be. My journey has allowed me to have many great moments, and I have received lots of love from a lots of people, to many to count. But I have sacrificed a great deal to do so! But if you asked me why, why do you do what you do? Its simple, “Love”! I learned from a few wise men, that in order to be truly successful you must help others be successful.
To help someone do well or push them in the right direction and know that you had something to do with it in some way shape or form, truly makes me happy! I absolutely LOVE that feeling, that’s something that no one can ever take from you!
SAMM COOPER: Thank-you for your time. Thank you for paying it forward in my journey! Where can we find you online?
Now that you know, get out there and go!
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Written by Samantha L. Cooper, M.E.d.