One of the Lubbock Junior Academy goals is to introduce students to different races, cultures, backgrounds and abilities.

Recently, LJA students used their Chromebooks to learn about Laurel Burch, a famous American artist with a rare debilitating disease.

Laurel Burch started her career as a Nanny. During her free time she would visit junk yards picking up any scrap metal she could find, which she used to create jewelry. It was her unique jewelry creations that gave her a start in the art world.

LJA students researched the development of her progression from creating jewelry to painting flowers, cats, and other animals. She became most famous for her painting of cats. Students spent time duplicating her designs and using her color techniques to make their own Laurel Burch cat designs.

By the 1990’s Laura Burch licensed her designs to dozens of companies worldwide. The students discovered web sites which sell her paintings on sweatshirts, pillows, bags, notebooks, and so much more. Several of the students and even their teacher wanted to purchase some of these clever items.

Sadly, her debilitating disease caused her bones to became denser and harder causing them to break easily. Even though she struggled with the pain her whole life, she spent most of her life upbeat, positive and overall thankful that she had the greatest job in the whole world, being an artist. She passed away in 2007.

Not only were the students able to learn a new art technique, but they learned that even through pain they can excel in their God given talents.

Susan Zimmermann