Dan Burgette is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists. His work has been shown at the Ward Museum, Salisbury, MD, the Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI, Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, Salina, KS, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, WY. Accolades include Best in World Interpretive Wood Sculpture, 42nd Ward World Championships, the Evelyn and Peter Haller Memorial Award for Sculpture and Lanford Monroe Artist-in-Residence at the National Wildlife Museum, Jackson, WY.
Dan’s journey into sculpture started during childhood near New Haven, Indiana. He did the standard art classes in grade school, asked for sculpting clay for his eighth birthday and tried his hand at woodcarving. Rather than pursuing art in his further education, Dan chose to focus on the natural world, attending Purdue College and receiving a degree in Conservation.
While Dan was in school, he made a trip west for the first time. Grand Teton was the first mountain he attempted to summit, and he made an emotional connection with the Teton Range and the web of life that covers its hills.
Post-graduation, after spending two years working on a community development team in the jungles of Bolivia, Dan returned to Purdue for his Masters in Conservation. During a trip to Canyonlands National Park, he met a Park Ranger, and he found working for the Parks Service was a career he wanted to pursue. Dan got his first permanent position with the Parks Service at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, IN. Part of his duties there were to dress like a frontiersman, sit under a tree whittling and speak to visitors about the Park’s namesake. The fire was lit, and his first bird carving was a duck decoy made from a redwood branch.
After transferring to Grand Teton National Park, Dan began to focus on his work, attending seminars, shows and inviting critiques. He is now retired from the Parks Service; he works as a full time artist.
“All art is a dialog. Artists tell stories. They give the viewer information. Just as reading a novel can open one’s mind to new insights about how the world works, looking at art can present new ways of seeing our world. “
“The goal of sculpture is to activate space—positive space and negative space.”