SUNY Canton Graphic and Multimedia Design Professor Opens Painting Exhibition, Oct. 26


A SUNY Canton professor’s paintings come to life through the vibrant fall colors in the Adirondack Mountains.

Matthew J. Burnett, who teaches in the Graphic and Multimedia Design program, is displaying a sizeable collection of his work on campus during his “Northern Light” exhibition.

Matthew Burnett stands in front of his

“Nature is bigger than us - it is us,” Burnett said. “My paintings, my outdoor endeavors, all of this is an attempt to illuminate, enjoy, and learn from forces that are older and larger than us. I paint to explore the paradoxes inherent in our relationship with nature and to showcase the intricate overlap between the two realms.”

An artist’s reception and an official show opening will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Southworth Library Learning Commons Classroom. The event is free, and the public is invited to view Burnett’s work.

Matthew Burnett hangs one of his painting featured in his

In addition to the opportunity to enjoy the work and comradery with the artist, colleagues and students, there will be an opportunity for “Competitive Pictionary.” Participants are invited to test their quick drawing skills for prizes and bragging rights.

As a lifelong Northern New York resident who currently lives in Saranac Lake, he draws upon his experiences as a woods guide and his former post as a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Assistant Forest Ranger to nourish his creative endeavors.

Burnett is best known for his experiential learning and teaching in an outdoor classroom. He routinely offers immersive experiences along the Raquette and Saranac rivers as college courses in photography, drawing and painting.

This display is the latest in more than a dozen exhibitions Burnett has displayed in the region. In tandem with “Northern Light,” he has also contributed a restored and custom-painted wooden guide boat for the “Listening to Water” exhibition at St. Lawrence University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery. He’s also staged interactive art performances using 3D-printed floating vessels on the Grasse River and another large-scale artistic undertaking projecting light onto sculptural forms made of snow.

Guests view Matthew Burnett's

Burnett is a 2021 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Creative Activities. He’s also a fellow at the Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany following a semester-long International Fellowship post. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the Maine College of Art and his Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Plattsburgh.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.