Photographer to feature photo exhibition of Asia for First Friday Artwalk |

Photographer to feature photo exhibition of Asia for First Friday Artwalk

Burke's Traveling Tips

Pack light - Start light so you can manage all of the souvenirs you're bound to buy along the way.

Try it all - Don't stick to what you know; try all kinds of food.

Meet the person next to you - There is a huge backpacking culture throughout southeast Asia; meet some fellow nomads.

Always carry TP - I wish I had known this before getting to Asia. Stay on top of this one or you'll regret it.

Be present - We live in the age of documentation. Did it happen if I didn't take a photo and tweet it out? Yes, it did. Try and be where you are and soak it all up. Leave your phone at home every once and a while and really take a look around.

If You Go...

What: First Friday Artwalk: Kate Burke Photography

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Colorado Group Realty office, 509 Lincoln Ave.

— Busy streets in Hanoi bursting with vibrant colors and motorists, a dewy morning amidst rice fields in Sapa and an indescribable view of the coast from a gondola in Hong Kong.

Images like these offer a different vantage point, one that resides behind the camera lens of photographer Kate Burke.

“I think that we could use the diversity in subject matter because there are many people in this town who travel or who have lived abroad, and seeing images like hers enlarges our world a bit,” said Mindy Williams, owner of Steamboat Frameworks, who helped teach Burke how to frame and matte her photos.

For the First Friday Artwalk, set for 5 to 8 p.m. today, Burke’s photography can be found at the Colorado Group Realty office, 509 Lincoln Ave, marking the first time her work has been featured here in Steamboat Springs.

“Her work symbolizes a cultural experience and has a global presence in the composition,” said Angela Palaniuk, marketing director at Colorado Group Realty. “There is a lot of artistry in her photos.”

Originally from Chicago, Burke acquired a teaching English as a foreign language certificate, along with a degree in graphic design, when she graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2012. After realizing her need to travel and explore the world, she and her boyfriend embarked on a trip to China in 2013, remaining there for a year to teach English as a second language.

Without knowing what grade she would teach or the culture shock she would inevitably encounter, Burke left with an optimistic outlook for the future.

“Basically, you are out of your comfort zone all the time,” Burke said. “But after awhile, it just becomes your comfort zone.”

The first year, Burke and her boyfriend were at a special language school and taught 18 classes per week. Unorganized and a bit chaotic, Burke said she found out a day before school started she would teach fifth grade and there were no books.

Regardless of the challenges, however, she fell in love with the culture.

“We didn’t know the language well; we knew four words,” she said. “But just living in another culture and seeing how other people lived was awesome.”

After a year in China, Burke and her boyfriend returned to the U.S. but still felt that itch to travel. They left for Vietnam in 2014, where they remained for six months, again teaching English as a second language. But this time, they were in a different school system and different way of life.

“Every day was an adventure; nothing was monotonous,” Burke said about her time in Hanoi, Vietnam. “Hanoi was such a vibrant place. There was a lot going on, and we encountered so many different people from everywhere.”

Capturing that movement and industrious efficacy of everyday life in Asia is one of the defining elements of Burke’s photography.

“This (Steamboat) is one of smallest places I’ve ever lived, but even in Chicago people don’t think about the other side of the world and what is necessarily going on there,” Burke said about the subject matter of her work. “There is so much to explore on the other side of the world, and I wanted to show that to people.”

Not only does Burke hope to inspire people through her images, she also hopes to make a difference as a teacher and philanthropist.

A major component to her show is the commitment that 10 percent of the proceeds will go to The Forgotten International, a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide support to impoverished women and children in Southeast Asia.

“I wish I had the funds to create an organization and do something like this (charity) myself. That’s the dream job,” Burke said. “This is my own way of trying to work into that.”

Burke’s photography will be on display at the Colorado Group Realty office for the month of April. Her blog can be found here (

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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