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He Didn't Quite Make the Finish Line Himself, But Ken Burt's Metal Work Did

Artist Ken Burt won’t be at ArtPrize 2011 to see his work receive the accolades it so richly deserves, but Burt’s work will be represented at the show.

Burt’s ArtPrize piece, “Aluminum Spiral Vase,” is on display in Grand Rapids, MI at the Federal Square Building downtown. Sadly, the expert metalshaping artist from Dundas, Ontario, died suddenly of a heart attack on July 30 at the ago of 50 years old.

Burt, a self-taught metalshaper and steel fabricator, developed an international reputation for his skill at building pieces for custom motorcycles and metal sculptures.

Metal shaping artist Ken Burt working at his English Wheel.

ArtPrize organizers included Burt’s work when they realized it had been properly registered and matched with a venue and made his entry a part of the exhibition which opened Sept. 21.

“We were told we couldn’t emphasize that we had lost him,” said Kevin Boehm, co-owner of Byrneboehm Gallery, who curated the 20 works on display in “The Spot.”

Burt’s 11-inch high vase, fashioned from four separate, flat sheets of aluminum, bent and riveted together, needs no sympathy votes, said Boehm, who called it “an astounding piece. I know it took him three years to make it.”

“He was just so excited about ArtPrize, it was all he could talk about for six months,” Boehm said. “He was a really great guy.”

You can see Ken’s work on motorcycle pieces here…

And his boat project here…

Spiral Vase by Ken Burt

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