Matthew R. Burns
Friends of Sharon Art Studio Director
Matthew Burns resides in San Francisco, but commutes to the world from the right side of the brain. As an artist, he found his passion for art, studying the pioneers Betty Edwards and Daniel Pink, leaders in the innovative art fields.
Born in 1971, he is a native of Watertown, New York and began as an aspiring caricaturist. He described his first romance as an ill-fated crush between pen and ink. Convinced there was not strength in his art, he pursued his undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the State University of New York, College at Oswego in 1994. While there, he embraced the tradition of pedagogy and embarked on a mission to use creative communication in his subsequent tenures; professionally he had nine years of growth in the student services, hospitality and sales and marketing fields. This was a professional marriage, which lacked passion. His true romance came at the expense of divorcing himself from the practical world. Upon the death of his father, Matthew returned to formal study, receiving his MFA from the Academy Art University, San Francisco in 2012.
Matthew cites Pink's A Whole New Mind as the single greatest contributing influence to increasing his artistic vocabulary. "Daniel Pink wrote of the increasing need to leave the technological era behind for the conceptual aspects of society. I did this with my own professional work and I have always felt that young artists need permission to venture down this road. Just as Betty Edwards promoted that we all can draw, Pink convinced me we should." Matthew worked with arts-based education for a number of years and complimented his teaching with arts advocacy and painting exhibitions. He melds traditional drawing and painting with narrative content; special emphasis with his watercolor is put on layered colors. In his role as FOSAS Director, Matthew hopes to expanded the unique partnership art plays for the Bay Area community.
Friends of Sharon Art Studio's Administrative Assistant, Graphic Designer, and Social Media Coordinator
Cassandra Sechler is a multimedia artist living in San Francisco, California. She primarily works with film, video, photography, and sculpture and runs a film collaborative with Craig Jacobson called Dreams For Dead Cats Productions.
Her background is in conceptual art and psychology, which aids her in providing her viewer with expressionistic works that are both personal and poetic. The nature of gender, identity, dreams, technological infrastructure, and her place within them are often the main focus of her work as a visual artist.
Known for her non-commercial approach and her intuitive, unconventional style, she tends to screen her films to selective audiences in a fine art context.