CoVa Connection: 24 Questions with Associate Account Executive Kendall Burns

How well do you know your coworkers? It’s a question we asked ourselves when developing this new online segment, CoVa Connection. You know all about Coastal Virginia Magazine, and now we’d like to introduce you—one by one, month by month—to the faces behind the publication.  We’re lucky to work with a group of super creative, highly talented and unique guys and gals, and we’d like to share their talents, inspirations and everyday musings with you. As we get to know our coworkers, we encourage you to do the same. Spend your lunch break chatting up someone new—or someone you haven’t taken the time to know. You might discover something fascinating.

Alexandria Kendall Burns | 24 | Associate Account Executive | Employed 1.5 months

Kendall Burns was born and raised in Virginia Beach and now lives in downtown Norfolk. When she’s not in the office, her life is art—still life paintings, focusing on wine bottles and organic matter; sceneries (mostly of the beach); and custom work for businesses, personal clients and restaurants. Her interest in oil painting stemmed in high school when she dipped her fingers into the paint and began to explore. “Something connected,” she recalls.

She rekindled the connection at George Mason University when she began taking art classes with oil paint. An instructor, Chawky, gave still life assignments of animal bones and skulls, then began incorporating shapes, fruits and glass bottles. “Through my painting, I saw my strengths and weaknesses and things to work on,” Burns explains. “Being an oil painter, you have to have attention to all these different details, like things that might have a higher reflection or a deeper shadow. That’s when I started becoming more addicted to the reflection in bottles.” Eventually, she says it became a lifestyle for her. She graduated from GMU with a BFA in Fine Arts, specializing in oil painting and minored in art management.

She currently draws inspiration from Rembrandt. “His work is a little more dark, but his still lifes are amazing,” she says. “They’ve always captured my attention.”

1. What’s the best part of your job?
The people I work with.

2. What’s the worst part of your job?
The juggling. I am a conquer one task at a time girl.

3. What’s the most exciting thing about Norfolk right now?
How up-and-coming it is. All the restaurants and places to go out.

4. What’s the best thing about living in Coastal Virginia?
All the different areas! You have the beach, you have your city in Norfolk; good atmosphere change within 20 minutes.

5. What’s the best thing about spring in Coastal Virginia?
I love when the leaves and the flowers come back—all the organic matter.

6. What local event are you looking forward to the most this spring?
May 20 I will have my art shown at Aloft Hotel. They will be showing off their new renovations, which I have eight permanent pieces that are going along with that, and then I’m also showcasing some more artwork, so I’m very excited for that.

7. How long have you been doing art?

8. What’s your favorite art piece that you’ve created?
The piece with the seven bottles. That piece took about 60 hours, and it was the most fascinating process. I had all the bottles in front of me, and I was lying on the floor, and I had a spotlight on these bottles and just going into the different colors, and each bottle was so different. It always brings me back to where I started.

Kendall Burns oil painting seven bottles

9. Where is some of your art featured locally?
I’ve been in almost every Taste Unlimited, as well as Passion The Restaurant, Thirty 7 North (Read more about them here) and Beach Movie Bistro.

10. What would be your dream gallery for your art to be featured in?
In New York in Chelsea—any of those galleries. They’re all beautiful.

11. What’s the last book you read?
A William Blake poetry book and The Great Gatsby.

12. What’s a song that you can’t get out of your head?
I go back and forth. I love all types of music, so it depends on the mood. I can jump from opera to classic rock with the snap of a finger. To start my day, though, “Chandelier” by Sia always gets me ready. Her voice is just amazing.

13. Movie that you can watch over and over and never get tired of?
About Time.

14. Favorite beverage?

15. Favorite wine?
Malbec or merlot; tough affair.

16. Favorite thing to do on the weekends?
I really love exploring Norfolk, whether it’s Ghent or Granby. I love exploring the different restaurants or antique shops or the Chrysler. There’s just so much to do in Norfolk.

17. Favorite after work spot?
Home. I love going home to my condo, whether I go home to paint or to relax or to prep my meals for the next day. It’s my sanctuary.

kendall burns coastal virginia magazine

18. Favorite date spot?
Luna Maya.But I love to try new places. The atmosphere is what wins me.

19. Fill in the blank. If I weren’t an assistant account executive, I’d be _______
An art director.

20. Fill in the blank again. If I could choose my own name, you could call me _______

21. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
My brain is always thinking. I have a lot of plans, especially with my art. I’m very futuristic and I’m thinking of the next step—the next bigger thing.

22. What’s your spirit animal?
White tiger.

23. Where’s the coolest place you’ve traveled?
New York.

24. What’s the most exhilarating thing you’ve done?
In Saint Martin, I went paddleboarding for the first time and there were sea turtles underneath us.

Next: Meet CoVa's web developer, Caleb Whitehead.