Lorain high school student sells artwork to California doctor

Lorain High School sophomore Lillianna Torres has done something that many young artists only dream of doing.

Lillianna created a piece that caught the eye of an enthusiastic buyer.

The buyer is a pediatric emergency physician from California who became so enamored with Lillianna’s work, ‘Kindness in the Kingdom’, that the doctor bought the artwork with the intention of bringing it back to his home country. origin to exhibit at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. .

The artwork is part of the “CLE Loves Art” exhibit at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Dozens of students from northeast Ohio had their artwork selected in 2020 to be part of the youth art exhibit at airport baggage claim.

Unfortunately, the exhibition has been in place for two years due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Kimberly Zimmerman travels regularly to Ohio to practice at the Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital and has admired the artwork since she first saw it two years ago.

The piece shows a human health worker wearing an animal mask while treating injured animals.

The worker did not want to appear threatening to the frightened and injured animals.

“It was supposed to be a person helping animals,” Lillianna said of her post. “I just wanted to draw a character that helps.”

It was the imagery that captivated Zimmerman each time she descended a nearby escalator.

“As an ER doctor, I also bandage a lot of wounds,” she said March 19 during an airport meeting with Lillianna and her family. “What struck me first was being a pediatrician, the last thing I want to do is scare children, so I’m not wearing a white coat.

“I try to wear a lot of bracelets that they can play with and distract them from what I’m doing to them. So the mask on the human meant a lot to me at first.

After contacting Longfellow Middle School principal Andy Hoffman, Zimmerman learned that Lillianna had created the work two years in eighth grade while in Jacqueline Murdock’s art class.

March 19 was the first time Lillianna saw her artwork on display at the airport and the first time she met her benefactor.

“It’s kind of weird. I drew it in middle school, and now it’s going to a doctor’s office,” she said with a chuckle. “But I guess she liked it. “

Lillianna created “Kindness in the Kingdom” during an independent study class in her eighth year.

She would go to Murdock’s room to work alongside sixth-year students.

Lillianna created many works of art during this time. Murdock eventually submitted the piece for inclusion in the “CLE Loves Art” competition.

Entering the contest turned out to be a very lucrative decision for Lillianna, as Zimmerman paid $1,000 for “Kindness in the Kingdom.”

“In my 32 years of teaching and six years as the visual arts coordinator for the schools in the town of Lorain, nothing like this has ever happened,” Murdock said. “I’m so excited for Lilli that someone contacted her and appreciates her artwork as much as Dr. Zimmerman.

“Lillianna is a very talented artist. His works have been selected for display at the Lorain City Schools All-City Art Show, Lorain County Art Show, and Scholastic Art Show. Some of her works have been selected for the cover of the Town Planner Lorain calendar, and two different years she has had works selected for the Cleveland Hopkins competition.

“One was for ‘Clean Water’ in 2019, and the most recent was for the ‘CLE Loves Art’ exhibition where she had the artwork ‘Kindness in the Kingdom’.”

Lillianna, who is not taking art lessons this school year, said drawing has always been her favorite activity in and out of school.

“I just like to draw. I always have,” she said. “Once I got to middle school, I started taking real art classes.

“So I mostly like to draw with pencils – colored pencils. But I’m also trying to use watercolors now.

Martha K. Merrill