Mr. Thomas Burkle

Phone: 719-328-5558


Degrees and Certifications:

Colorado Teachers License, Visual Arts Education K-12 Master of Arts in Education, Diverse Learner, University of Phoenix, 2001 Bachelor of Science, Art Education, Ball State University, 1991 Cowan High School, Cowan, Indiana, 1986

Mr. Thomas Burkle

Happy Spring Break!  

Please take care of yourself, and your family.  

I will return making complement sandwiches and reading your artist's statements in my email on March 30.  

Feel free to explore this site and make whatever art you like.  

Nick G drew this portrait of Mr. Burkle a few years ago.  Nice work Nick!


It is a privilage to work with the students at Chipeta.  Thank you Chipeta students, parents, teachers, staff and adminstration.  Let me know if you have any comments, questions or concerns at...

Mr. Tom Burkle

Parent Links

  • Dear Families,

    During these current events, it seems appropriate for a cooking analogy instead of a sports analogy. 

    When you are learning to cook, you usually follow a recipe very closely.  You might be lucky enough to be able to watch someone else cook and lean on their experience.  You are a practicing cook.  After some practice following recipes, you might decide to try green beans instead of broccoli in a recipe that you have made a handful of times.  Or you might decrease the salt in a recipe by half a teaspoon to see if you like it better with less salt.  These are the choices of a chef.  You are following a recipe, however, you are starting to experiment with creativity in your cooking.  A chef is a cook that writes the recipe and then many times cooks the recipe.  A true chef is staring down a blank piece of paper, leaning on their experience, and writing down a recipe from scratch.

    I want your child to behave as a chef.   I want your child to behave as an artist.

    I want your child to write their own recipes.  I want your child to plan their own art.

    Then I want them to cook their recipe as if they own the restaurant. I want them to make their art as if they are in their own studio.

    I expect that they taste the food that they have prepared and share it with others.  I expect that they compose an artist's statement about their art and share it with others.

    And finally, I hope that they take this creative cooking experience and in some way apply it to their next recipe.  And finally, I hope that they take this creative making experience and in some way apply it to their next work of art.      

    Your child spent the beginning of the year as a cook in the art room.  Then slowly transitioned toward being a chef.  We started the year with required skill builder art assignments.  My yearlong goal is that they are behaving as an independent artist going into the summer.  In the summer at home, they have the amazing opportunity to create things without the interference of a school classroom setting.  These current events have lead your young artist to independence about 8 weeks early.  

    Your child has had enough cooking lessons this year; let them write their own recipes.

    I believe your child needs the time, space, supplies and support to practice being an independent artist.  



    Parent Responsibilities

    This is how you can help your young artist.  Please, help them follow this same process that we follow in the art room at Chipeta.  You and your artist will find detailed instructions are on the left side menu.

    1.  Plan - Plan your next work of art in your mind or on a sheet of paper.  Doodling, play, and silliness are great starting points for art.   "What would you like to make today?"  "Would you like to make art about what is going on around you or about something very far away?"    

    2.  Create - Create half of your art.  Ask someone in your house or Mr. Burkle for a Compliment Sandwich.  Finish your art.

    3.  Reflect - Write, type or dictate your Artist's Statement.

    4.  Publish - Prepare your art for display.  Email your art and statement to Mr. Burkle.


    Teacher Responsibilities

    1.  My first responsibility as your child's art teacher in this situation is to be a source of positive feedback.  Your child will continue to cook if the people eating the food are making yummy noises.  All of my email replies will include at least two compliments on their work.

    2.  My second responsibility as your child's art teacher is to feed your child with art content that your child has shown a possible interest.  If your child is creating cartoon drawings, then I will send them links to famous cartoons, cartoon lessons, cartooning content.  Chefs still learn, they just have earned the privilege of choosing what it is what they wish to learn.  

    3.  My third responsibility is to fill this teacher site with content that you and your child may access.  There will be times where your young artist will not have an idea.  This website has open-ended idea and activity starters.  It consciously does not have complete recipes.  If I assign all 4th graders the task of drawing a happy landscape in an abstract style with cool color crayons, typically only about 25 percent of those 4th graders will actually be interested.  75 percent of those young artists will grumpily, finish it as quickly as possible, and will turn off their interest in making art.

    3.  My fourth responsibility is to support you, our young artist's parental units.  Please, email me with any questions and concerns.  I will give my response the time and respect you deserve in this educational environment.  Think of me as an open-air farmers market.  (Ok, yes, the analogy has gone too far:)   I have a whole bookshelf, files and the internet here at home full of art resources.  Do not hesitate to email me with requests.  During the week of March 16, I only received 5 emails from parents.  I can do more.


    Wishing you and your's yummy nutrition,

    Mr. Tom Burkle