I have been so thrilled to be chosen to develop in a Design & writing project by Rosemary Scherba – a student at
Anne Arundel County Community College in Maryland, U.S. Her school was taking part in a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon which engages students and encourages women to become editors or contributors to Wikipedia articles about women and others who are currently underrepresented in their articles.
To support the Edit-a-thon, her Image and Design Class was tasked with editing and/or contributing to articles about women artists after researching their lives and their contributions to the arts. So Rosemary chose myself and research on my art and the life began.
Rosemary in doing the article on my life and art and talked to me on the phone and by zoom 4 times. We have communicated by email for a month. I find it interesting that I am a Canadian and got chosen by someone in the United States. It is not a surprise as I did do a tremendous amount of work in New York with the production of both Dodoland and Magical Earth Secrets which were preformed in such prestigious locations as the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian. It was seven years in New York. Also my first book was published in Los Angles. The world is one is my philosophy. So thank you to Rosemary for researched my life and I am feeling very grateful .
Not only that but Rosemary has taken photos from my life and in her Image and Design class made a carousel meme for instagram. She is so creative in the way she has taken photos.. added quotes and given them a very appropriate dream like quality. I am impressed! I will share these in the 3 parts to her written article.
I will include a few of the amazing graphic images Rosemary Scherba has created.
I will post later how the post for wiki was developed.
Want to thank Rosemary for her interest and enthusiasm for my life’s work.
Rosemary research on my life: Part 1
Della Burford is a New Age artist and author whose art and writings focus on New Age spirituality, emotional and physical healing, and the environment. While secondary sources about the artist are rare, much of her art, prose, and poetry have been documented by the artist and her husband, Dale Bertrand, on personal websites, in YouTube videos, and in her numerous books for adults and children. The primary source of inspiration for Ms. Burford’s paintings and stories are her dreams as she paints from her imagination. Her career as an artist and author has taken a series of turns, depending on her life experiences, her travel, connections with other creatives, and the need to share her work with others, particularly children. She has shared her art and her stories globally and has contributed to organizations and areas with less fortunate children giving back the creativity that was shared with her since her childhood.
Della Burford was born in 1946 in Saskatoon and raised and educated in Alberta, Ontario. She credits her mother, Desiree Burford, a painter, with encouraging her creativity by listening to her dreams, providing artistic materials, and encouraging her to travel. Della continues to give this gift of creativity to others because of the ample supply provided by her mother. One example of this gift was her participation in the program, Inner City Angels, a Toronto program where artists from different walks of life visit classrooms and work with teachers and students to build art and show artistic activities. (Hay) Ms. Burford graduated from the New York School of Interior Design in 1965 and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Textiles with Fine Arts minors in 1968. In 1990 she was part of the Arts in Community Program at Queens which led to a Bachelor of Education.
Della Burford met her life partner, Dale Bertrand in 1968 and they began their goal of world travel in 1970 with a one-way ticket to Rome to explore Europe. Her artwork during this time as shown in her autobiographical book, Art for One World, began with ink drawings and it was there that she remembered previous dreams and painted the initial bird helmet, a device to enable imagination and creativity. When returning to Canada, Della taught interior design at Humber College in Toronto, painting in her spare times in the evenings and selling her first painting of “Elemental Dodo in Dodo Land” in 1971. These paintings and the stories that evolved from them morphed into her first book, Journey to Dodo Land, a book about “…the creativity of a land where you could live your dream.” (Burford, Art, p4)
In 1977, she and Dale traveled to Laguna Beach CA, to meet with an investor, Dr. Richard Mazurek who wanted to publish her book, Journey to Dodo Land. Dr. Mazurek gave Della complete artistic control over the book. Because money was no constraint, Della was able to design a 60-page book with 8-color printing which was an extravagance at that time. Over 6,000 copies of the book were printed and donated to Toys for Tots and other organizations. Original printed copies of the book are rare; however, “In 1995 the Journey to Dodo Land story was chosen to be showcased…in the Swiftsure Project in Victoria, British Columbia, underwritten by the British Columbian Government of Canada, using internet technologies to showcase British Columbian Culture.” (Dodo Land) This interactive website has had over 2 million hits from individual users and is still maintained by Della Burford and Dale Bertrand.
Following the publication of Journey to Dodo Land, a theatre production company in New York approached Della to turn the story into a theatre production for 7 years. “It was a story to take to the children of the world. The Dodo Land production was taken to festivals, schools in East Harlem and even performed at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Della Buford painted large scenes, helped design costumes, and even took part in some of the productions, maintaining creative control over the content. (Art for One World, p11) This opportunity led to over 40 years of storytelling and global productions of her subsequent books. “Her stories have been shared in museums, schools, hospitals,
prisons, and at festivals. Remembering her dreams has helped her fulfill her true destiny in life. Della’s work is for self- development our mother earth all of humanity and spirit.” (Star Galaxy for the World)
written by Rosemary Sherba
Burford, Della, et al. Art for One World. Azatlan Publishing, 21 January 2019.
Burford, Della. “Dream, Visualize, Create.” Create a Dream With Della Burford. https://dellaburfordartist.ca/
Burford, Della. Star Galaxy for the World. Azatlan Publishing, 2019.
Hay, Susan. “Professional Artists are Helping to Enrich Arts Programming in Inner City Schools.” Global News. 5 June 2013. https://globalnews.ca/news/616900/professional-artists-are-helping-to-enrich-arts-programming-in-inner-city-schools/