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Ring School Artists Use Laurel Burch As Inspiration

Ring Elementary School kindergarteners Natalia Broadhead, Aaron Hendrickson, Avianna Bush and nd Theodora Baehr show off their projects inspired by artist Laurel Burch in Rebecca Whitman’s art class.

Ring Elementary School students in Rebecca Whitman’s art classes used inspiration from artist, Laurel Burch, to help create symmetrical dogs and cats. The entire school created wonderful animals from paper, crayons and their imagination.

“My primary goal this year is to provide a supportive, positive and happy environment for our students to cope, grow and thrive in,” said Mrs. Whitman. “This project was full of ways to be successful and creative. For many, this was the first experience cutting something perfectly symmetrical. Symmetry is a mathematical concept that is reinforced and often used in art.”

After learning the definition of symmetry, students watched a short video featuring Laurel Burch, a famous artist whose artwork is featured on jewelry, bags, fabrics and more. Students folded their cat or dog in half and then cut, creating a symmetrical Laurel Burch-style dog or cat. They embellished their dogs and cats with “Burch-style patterns” using construction paper and crayons making the designs pop on paper. Students then got really creative and decided on an item for their animal to hold. It didn’t have to “make sense” and they had fun creating things like ice cream cones, laptops or paintbrushes.

“Laurel faced numerous hardships in life including dealing with the congenital disorder, osteoporosis. She broke more than 100 bones in her life. Laurel was a very positive person despite her difficult circumstances,” said Mrs. Whitman. “I feel this is a very valuable concept during our difficult pandemic time. We can be resilient and thrive even during difficult times. Laurel had some serious life challenges but her goal was to create art that made people happy.”

Ring Elementary School second grader, Asiana Anthony, said it best, “Drawing makes my brain happy.”

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