A multi-media art display by over two hundred students attending H.B. Beal Secondary’s notorious BealART program 2011-12 hosted over ten thousand people since the temporary gallery opened Saturday June 2 at nine a.m. By one p.m. the students had sold fourteen thousand dollars in artwork, estimates for the whole weekend being just over twenty thousand, Mark Haney, head of the department tells Londonfuse.
The work is assembled in a series of segmented rooms that serve as several studios and workspaces for the students during the school year. A yet again stunning display of prints, textiles, paintings, sculpture, and photography could be found in the school’s basement, while a mini theatre projected quirky and often hilarious artsy films (that could only be made by art students), in a dark classroom. A host of commercial art works demonstrated fun and well put together simulation projects such as creating product labels and portfolio design.
The ceramics room was full of creativity with several fun character mugs, a full dinnerware set, funky lizards in a terrarium display as well as planters, but the the show was not complete until discovering the frankenstein and bride mug set. The sculptors had been busy at work creating several large scale metalworks, a zebra and Rachelle Poitier's practically lifesize ostrich for example, while others had been preparing for battle, with two suits of armour standing at attention in display. Alexander Versolatto's sculpture series brought a unique perspective to outdated technology with his incorporation of wood materials instead of plastic on old cameras, a game boy and a carved wooden keyboard and mouse.
A large grade eleven display showcased the young artists in an array of media from pinhole photography to sculpting, such as the first image shown. So many different textures and subjects could be found in every corner.
Some of the artworks in particular demonstrated outstanding skill, such as a tri colour pencil drawing by Brianna Fosswill of her father. Zane Pate’s detailed and distinct printing style caught eyes with stylized themes of a UFO, "Ship in a Bottle" and "Xray Vision." The textiles room had yarn bombed two tricycles and set up a fun display about the practice. Emma Tacq’s beautiful weaving was showcased on the wall in a large display focusing on a large loom woven turquoise blanket.
A display of predominantly black and white photography told patrons many stories, some eerie, others intriguing, investigative and of a kind of documentary style. The series work this year was phenomenal, with Zai Pitman’s cut up photographic collages boldly claiming the room, a wonderful portrait series that captured its subjects and a scientific/journalistic approach to an abandoned building, complete with specimens retrieved from the scene.This year’s show contained innovative mixed media pieces in a fresh and interesting way.
The organization seemed much improved and the increased amount of artwork the show hosted was well displayed and not too cluttered. Loosely categorizing mediums to rooms, but breaking up for example, ceramics with the occasional textile piece or photograph, worked well and kept viewers’ interest.
Several collaborative shows throughout the course of the year have helped make this year’s show so outstanding. BealART’s community art scene involvement and development is a valuable part of London’s cultural scene and has once again demonstrated it is a topic of actuality. These young artists are people to watch, especially as they graduate and move on to new projects and schools.
All things considered, BealART 2012 was a great success for the school, students and for London’s burgeoning young art scene.