Gregory Burns

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Gregory Burns
Born1957 (age 63–64)
NationalityAmerican
Known forPainting
Spouse(s)Angie Tan-Burns
Websitegregoryburns.com
Medal record
Men's para swimming
Representing  United States
Paralympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta 4×50 m Freestyle S1–6
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta 4×50 m Medley S1–6
Silver medal – second place 1992 Barcelona 100 m Breaststroke SB4
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta 100 m Backstroke S6
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona 4×50 m Medley S1–6

Gregory Burns, MFA, (born 1957) is an American athlete, painter, author, motivational speaker and member of Art of the Olympians. As a competitive swimmer, Burns represented the USA in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Paralympic Games, winning two gold, two silver and one bronze medal; he has set 5 World records and numerous American records. As a contemporary artist, his paintings have been exhibited in over 80 solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in 15 different countries; Burns has conducted 40 Artist-in-Residence programs around the globe. He is the recipient of the United States Sports Academy’s 2016 Sport Artist of the Year award, (painter). As an author, Burns has published three books in English and Mandarin. As a motivational speaker, Burns has inspired thousands of adults and children while covering a wide range of interests such as sports, arts, motivation, mental wellness, business, culture, and creativity.[1]

Biography[edit]

Gregory Burns was born in Washington, DC in 1957. His father served in the diplomatic corps, and as a result he spent 10 years of his childhood abroad. He contracted polio in Jerusalem in 1958, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. At age three, he took to the water to learn to swim. At age six, he began painting lessons while living in Paris. His early schooling took place in France, Germany, Maryland, and the Netherlands. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1976-1980),[1] and a Master in Painting (MFA) in 1999 from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

As a competitive swimmer, Burns represented the USA in the 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta), and 2000 (Sydney) Paralympic Games, winning two gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze medal.[2][3] He set 5 world records in Paralympic swimming and numerous national records. Retiring from the Paralympics in 2004, he transitioned into endurance sporting events; Burns completed the 2006 Korea IronMan race and the Singapore Half-IronMan races in 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012.[4] Burns is also an avid scuba diver, surfer, hiker, hand cyclist and sit-down snow skier.

As a contemporary artist, Burns has been described as an abstract impressionist.[5] Burns conducted postgraduate studies at (1) Cabrillo College, near Santa Cruz, California, studying commercial and fine art (1982-1984), (2) Chung Da University/National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, studying Chinese painting & calligraphy and history (in Mandarin; 1984-1985), and (3) Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, earning a Master of Fine Art in Painting (1998-1999). His paintings have been shown in 80 solo exhibitions plus dozens of group exhibitions in 15 countries.[6] Burns has conducted 40 Artist-in-Residence programs around the globe.[1] He is the recipient of the United States Sports Academy’s 2016 Sport Artist of the Year award (painter).

As a philanthropist, since 1984, Burns has supported numerous disadvantaged children’s groups and communities throughout Asia and the USA. For several years, the US Embassy sent Burns deep into the fabric of China, Mongolia and Singapore as a Cultural Ambassador to share his uplifting message with thousands of locals. In the spirit of Robin Hood, Burns has endeavored to inspire people with disabilities and children who have experienced trauma or poverty to rise above their limitations. During a charity auction in Beijing, one of Burns' paintings sold for USD $90,000 which was used to build a school in rural China.

As an author, Burns has published three books: Painted Journey[7] (2005) and The Art of Mindfulness (2014) in English, and Color Your Life (2008) in Mandarin.

As a motivational speaker, Burns' topics include the following:

Beyond Limitations, One Step at a Time: Going beyond self-imposed limitations.

The Hero’s Journey: Referencing Joseph Campbell’s seminal writings on the stages of life.

Adapting & Balancing Work and Personal Life: Maintaining a holistic view of one’s personal and professional activities.

The Artist’s Journey: Embracing the artist within.

Disability Awareness: Embracing disability and diversity.


Burns also conducts arts-based, team-building, and creativity workshops with the following themes:[8]

Visualizing Company Culture through Art: Hands-on art-making workshop.

Shared Mind-sets of Great Leaders & Artists: Identifying 6 critical approaches to business and creativity, which successful Leaders and Artists have in common.


Medals[edit]

Records[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Painted Journey, Gregory Burns, Singapore, 2005. ISBN 9810521286[7]
  • Color Your Life (Mandarin), Gregory Burns, Taiwan, 2008.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gregory Burns: Artist's Biography/Timeline". gregoryburns.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games, Medallists, Swimming". IPC: International Paralympics Committee. 1992. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, Medallists, Swimming". IPC: International Paralympics Committee. 1996. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Gregory Burns: Speaker's Biography/TImeline". gregoryburns.com. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Q&A: Gregory Burns". TimeOut Shanghai. 3 February 2013. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Gregory Burns: Artist's Resume". gregoryburns.com. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Library of Congress Online Catalog". Library of Congress. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Gregory Burns: Speaker's Portfolio". gregoryburns.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games, Swimming, Results (search)". IPC: International Paralympics Committee. 1992. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, Swimming, Results (search)". IPC: International Paralympics Committee. 1996. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "American Records, Swimming". American Record - Long Course (Meters). United States Olympic Committee, U.S. Paralympics. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013.

External links[edit]