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Washington-Lee Elementary honors artist Laurel Burch with Student Artwork Displayed in Historic Downtown Bristol!

April 20, 2017

The Arts & Entertainment District is hosting the 6th Annual Student Art Gallery in Downtown Bristol. In an effort to “Cultivate Bristol’s Creativity,” the district has invited the local schools to help beautify our community by providing art to decorate the front windows of the former Hayes Furniture Building on State Street.

“The student art gallery is a wonderful way to highlight the creativity of children in the community, and to encourage them to pursue and enjoy the arts,” says Maggie Bishop, Executive Director for Believe in Bristol. “It is a very important part of the arts culture in Bristol, and it gives the community a wonderful opportunity to share in the artistic accomplishments of our area students.”

Each school or group that participates has a month-long period to display their students’ art in the space. The fourth gallery of art went up this week, showcasing artwork from fifth grade students at Washington-Lee Elementary inspired by artist Laurel Burch.

Laurel Burch passed away in 2007 from a rare bone disease, but left an artistic legacy of paintings, jewelry, and designs on coffee mugs, clothing, tote bags, prints, fabrics, buttons, and note cards through the Laurel Burch Design Studio.

The fifth grade students at Washington-Lee Elementary have created bright, colorful tin foil designs of cats inspired by the work of this self-taught artist whose trademark style seeks to communicate happiness and a strong, imaginative spirit. Laurel Burch’s uplifting spirit was evident in her artwork as well as her life: “I have had to overcome such an enormous number of obstacles that I have developed a belief system which allows me to feel like I can accomplish almost anything. Of course, I can’t, but sometimes the courage to say ‘I can’ is all it takes.”

Artwork by the students from Washington-Lee Elementary will be on display at the Hayes Furniture Building until May 1, 2017.