Joanne Burke has a unique skill as an artist. The Lake Placid woman creates holiday displays using acrylic paints and storefront windows as her canvases. Burke’s artwork can be seen throughout town at establishments such as Above and Beyond and A Cut Above hair salons, Cow Pie’s and Schooni’s restaurants, and Wings of Eagles Christian Books.
Burke, who prefers to be called “Miss Jo,” has been painting Lake Placid windows for about five years now. She creates seasonal and holiday motifs and a few year-round pieces. She recently finished an Independence Day theme on the big glass windows at the Schooni’s entrance.
“Miss Jo does a fantastic job for us,” manager Carrie Adkins said. “She does all the major holidays and family portraits on our windows. The customers notice the paintings right away and love them.
Early this week, Burke was working on a patriotic theme for Above and Beyond. Her project there was almost complete when it was ruined in storms last week. “I was heartbroken,” said Burke. “It took me all week and it was nearly complete.”
Burke said she has always wanted to paint a mural and is inspired by the muralists of Lake Placid. “Living in ‘The Town of Murals’, I always wanted to paint a large piece. I thought, ‘I’ll do windows!’,” she said.
Burke’s passion for art started when she was four with drawing pictures of Jesus. At the age of nine she began to paint. Her father, also an artist, encouraged her creative talents throughout her life.
“My father inspired me to become better,” she said. “He would provide constructive criticism and pointers.”
This humble artist credits more than just good genes for her talent. “I thank God for giving me the talent he has,” Burke stated. “I give him all the credit, all the glory.”