Jenni Burke: Proud Member, Spirit of the Hills

Jenni Burke was born in Port Hope in 1979, and still lives in (and loves) Northumberland County.  A member of SOTH for 4 years now, she describes herself as “an amateur artist working towards professionalism”.

Here’s her story:

Photo by Jessica Blaine Smith

When I did my first show in 2005, it was in a tiny pub in my hometown, and had a great turn out. I sold a few pieces, and had lots of wonderful feedback.

I am always grateful to those who show up and chat. The stories and memories that people have when they see a work of art that they “click” with is an honour to share in and witness.

Blog Photo - FOTA Jenni Burke and her Paintings

Since 2005 I have participated in a variety of shows, some solo, some with other artists. I always have greatest success when I do solo pop-up shows. But it’s a lot of work. In the last 2 years, I have focused more on juried shows, and well-established events, to help get my work better-known.

Spirit of The Hills is an art association that I discovered through google!

After the success of my first show, I wanted to expand my opportunities and link to the community in new ways. I could not believe it cost only $35 each year, and that it included a profile on their website, with a link to my own website. Jackpot!

During 2019 I had a piece accepted into the Colborne Art Gallery’s Juried Show, I hosted the first “Wall Take-Over” at the Art Gallery of Northumberland, and for the first time ever participated in the Cobourg Waterfront Festival with Spirit of The Hills (SOTH). I will also be participating in St.Mark’s Christmas Market (Port Hope) in November.

Blog Photo - FOTA Jenni Burke Banff complete

In 2015 I took a two-day drive through Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and fell in love with Jasper. It was a true spiritual experience that altered the direction of my life and focus, and I felt more urgency than ever before to paint.

When I started my tiny collection (“Two Days in Jasper”) of 7 paintings, I had no idea they would be received so strongly. The success of that show (not only the sales, but also the overwhelming positive feedback), made me understand the depth, value, and importance of capturing the spirit of Canadian Landscapes.

This was a turning point, and I truly believe people now connect with my work on a soul level. They see my paintings and remember something in themselves that they are connected to – whether it be the location of the land, or the energy of the land that comes through in the work, or the presence of the spirit in the painting itself.

Blog Photo - FOTA Jenni Burke website iceberg

I am so grateful for Spirit of the Hills’ newsletters, updates on community art events, and all the applications for upcoming shows and exhibits.

Through this organization I have been able to show my work at the Northumberland Hills Hospital, the Campbellford Public Library, the Colborne Juried Show, and the Cobourg Waterfront Festival. There are many other opportunities.

Blog Photo - FOTA Jenni Burke website nwt

Recently I found out that SOTH is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary (I had no idea it was so established!), and I want to say THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS! I am so honoured and proud to be a part of this local art community, and highly encourage other artists to join us. We include visual artists, but also writers, performing artists and others. It is rare to find such an eclectic group of artists under one umbrella.

The Festival of the Arts is the perfect example of how all different types of art can be celebrated together!

The images above belong to Jenni Burke and may not be used without her written permission.

Jenni’s website:

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