Laurie Themm Walker '71 lives and breathes art - so much so, that each summer she holds an art camp in her very own backyard.
by Donna Parker
"This is the 14th year of my backyard art camp for children, first grade through high school. This is an opportunity to expose them to different areas of art to see where their interest lies," says this talented artist who recently painted a semblance of LeeRoy, the Trinity tiger mascot.
"It was fun and something that came about in planning for my 35th class reunion during Alumni Weekend. Alumni artists were asked to show their work in the first Artisans' Showcase at the Tailgate Party that weekend and I thought it'd be great to give back to the school by doing the Bengal tiger."
Laurie, who earned a B.A. in art, paints detailed wildlife and pet portraits in acrylics on commission. Her colorful portrait of LeeRoy now hangs in the Alumni Office.
"My husband and I had a great time at Trinity that weekend. We try to get down to Texas as often as possible and stay involved."
Laurie and her husband, Scott, also a Trinity graduate, have three children: Shawn, 29, Kelly, 25, and Ryan, 19, and Laurie says they are her greatest achievement. They live in Wilmette, IL.
"Life has been good to me between rearing our three children and having a good strong marriage. In addition, I get to do what I want to do, which is my artwork."
Laurie serves her community as one of the founding members of the Wilmette Arts Guild, which provides a $1,500 scholarship each year. In addition, she introduces art in inner-city schools through a program called, Do Your P'Art.
"My professors, Bill Bristow and Elizabeth Ridenhower, both from the department of art and art history, provided me with an excellent liberal arts background. Both were very encouraging about my art, but I discovered post-graduation that it was difficult to maintain a lucrative career in commercial art. It's just like I would tell college kids today - you have to be willing to try different things and keep your values. Sometimes it's easier in art to go for the money, rather than your true interest. Trinity remains a true interest of mine."
"Right now I'm trying to get my tiger painting in different venues and I'm working with Trinity on posters, cards, and limited edition prints."
Contact Laurie at: ltwalkerartist [at] aol.com