Cyndie Burkhardt (b. Cape May, NJ, USA) is a New York City-based photographer and digital storyteller, working across photography, podcasting, and video. She’s passionate about travel and exploring issues related to culture, lifestyle, tradition, and place, and she’s dedicated to creating thought-provoking work that affects positive social change.
Growing up in Cape May, NJ, she swam in the ocean, rode her bike, and explored the outdoors with her brother. It was at University of the Arts, where she majored in photography and graphic design, that she discovered a way to combine her appetite for life with artistic expression. This passion led her to pack her bags and roam the globe, with (film) camera in hand, across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Arctic. She found that having a camera immersed her further into a place, especially when meeting people. Mutual curiosity often led to interesting conversations and great photo ops, even when she didn’t know the language. Naturally inquisitive, she learned the most from talking to locals and seeing how they lived, acknowledging the similarities and differences between people all over the world. Her visual travel documentaries of the Norwegian coast, China, Sicily, Israel, Cuba, and other places explore culture and lifestyle nuances.
Burkhardt established a corporate career to learn the merits of business, starting in branding and design then moving into marketing and communications. With a well-established professional background, she re-focused on her creative interests with new intent. In 2016, she graduated from International Center of Photography (ICP) in the first class of its pioneering New Media Narratives program. It changed her idea about what it means to be an artist. Shifting from independent photographer to collaborative digital storyteller, new avenues opened up for work and projects.
The relationship between travel and connecting with others has been a long-standing interest for Burkhardt. It’s given rise to a mindset that travel has the power to shape a person’s outlook on life – perception, identity, tolerance. She’s resolved to create multi-faceted work that has a global context, where art not only gives voice to other cultures but encourages viewers to engage with those cultures. Sharing stories so that art becomes a conversation is her means of bringing people together, and part of a socially engaged practice.
Burkhardt’s work has been in several group and solo exhibitions in China, Czech Republic, and the United States. She’s received numerous accolades including a photography grant that resulted in a “best-in-show” award early in her career. She helped co-curate Public, Private, Secret, the inaugural exhibition of ICP’s new museum opening on the Bowery in 2016, and helped produce ICP Hack the Photo, the first-ever hackathon at ICP’s school, in 2016 and 2017.