Fatemeh Burnes was born in Tehran, Iran. She first came to the United States in 1973 and spent a five-year period between three continents before settling in Southern California in 1977. Classically trained in Persian art and poetry, Ms. Burnes was mentored by her uncle, poet Salek Esfahani, and featured on poetry radio programs. Ms. Burnes also studied biology, modern Persian poetry and western artistic practice, including painting, drawing, printmaking, and photography in Iran, Europe, and California. She received her BFA and MFA in art and art history from California State University, Fullerton, where she also studied exhibition design. Ms. Burnes has taught fine arts, design, and art history at Cal State Fullerton, the Art Institute of Southern California (now the Laguna College of Art and Design), Saddleback College, Fullerton College, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM). She also led special programs in public art that have resulted in the creation of environmental-themed murals. Since 1992, Ms. Burnes has been gallery director and curator as well as a full-time professor of drawing and painting at Mt. San Antonio College, devoting the last two decades to art education and curriculum development in exhibition organization and design. At the gallery, Ms. Burnes has curated over 100 exhibitions and worked with an international array of artists and art professionals. She has exhibited her own work extensively since the 1980s. In January 2012, Zero+ Publishers released a book of Ms. Burnes' photographs, edited by critic and writer Peter Frank.