Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beal Art Show

Beal High School is known throughout this region of Southern Ontario for its arts education programs. At the end of each school year, the school puts on a display of the student’s artworks for the public to see. People come from many different places to attend this show. Joanne and I went to our first show in the spring of 1998.

There must be about twenty different interconnected rooms absolutely packed with art creations. Jo’ and I spent over two hours slowly meandering through all the unique displays. Here are some of the highlights…

This was the first creation that made me say, “Wow! Isn’t this amazing!?” This room divide is a tribute to life on Earth. Each panel was created using silk fabrics with wax and coloured inks. In the centre we see a map of the world. Surrounding this are symbols that highlight all the different cultures of the world. We can see the kangaroo in Australia, Inukshuks from the Arctic, the windmills from parts of Europe, temples from South America and the Eiffel tower from Paris. People from India, Japan and Africa are busy with their daily tasks: bringing water and celebrating with dance.

As you can see, walls were just packed with so many unique paintings. My mind swirled from one painting to the next, from one theme to the next philosophy, from one impression to another.

Room by room we journeyed, being taken on a ride through print media, photography, ceramics, charcoal drawings, etchings. I wish I had more juice in my camera’s battery so that I could have shown you more of these other arts, but I took too many photos while I was admiring all the paintings and drawings…

This wall was full of pencil drawings – some black and white, most in colour. The variety of topics was as far reaching as the dynamic use of colour and texture.

I spent a few moments admiring the pencil drawing of this ‘Mischievous’ fox, that looks like she just got cornered by the police after having tricked her prey of two fairies.

This clay sculpture gave my mouth many reasons to upturn into a smile. The expression of this woman’s face is truly a moment captured in time. The detail to the texture and folds of the skin, the placement of the hair and the emotion captured in the closed eyes really blew me away!!!

There were rooms full of jewelry that were created to accessorize all the fabric arts of hats, scarves and purses. I really enjoyed all the colours of the fabrics that were complimented with the addition of coloured threads, stitched in elaborate designs.

These are two quilts that tell the story of ‘Alice In Wonderland’. The blending of the fabrics and stitchwork was absolutely impressive. I had noticed that in almost every division of art media – throughout the show – there was an image from this book. I had seen a paper collage of Alice looking up a tree at the Cheshire Cat. The largest canvas in the entire show – it was about six feet high by four feet wide – showed Alice discovering the rabbit hole. It is refreshing to know that many aspiring artists take the time to acknowledge the minds of generations past as they forge into a new and fresh future.

Yes, I’ve been saving the best for last…

It surprised even me, to be captured by a still life painting. I’m usually not to keen on looking at a bowl of fruit or a vase full of flowers, but this simple image of a potted cactus, bowl and glass teapot brought about a peacefulness within me. The fact that the teapot is made of glass made me appreciate all the curves of light and contrasts of shadow that the artist had to recognize while preparing the canvas. The dark and somber colours of the drapes and terracotta pot and bowl was balanced perfectly with the soft misting of sunlight reflecting sharply off of the hard surface of the table.

This painting made me think of lazy summer mornings, when a person is beginning their day to realize that on this particular day there is nothing that needs doing. It is a day off. A time to rest, with moments to reflect of the simplicity of existence. Moments to appreciate the simple beauty of a potted cactus. Moments to forget about the troubles of the world, only to find comfort in the warm sunlight bathing the spaces outside our window.

I like moments that make life seem simple and peaceful…


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