Meet some of the student artists behind the Beal end-of-year art show

Meet some of the student artists behind the Beal end-of-year art show

Hundreds of students at H.B. Beal Secondary School in London showcased their art projects to community members at their annual year-end show this weekend. 

More than 400 students displayed the designs they spent all school year working on, which included a variety of paintings, sculptures and textiles, ceramic objects and more. Organizers say the event has been getting lots of attention from Londoners. 

Madison Lambert, 18, specializes in paint and printmaking and captures urban landscapes, along with daily objects that typically go unnoticed. This year, the Grade 13 student created two paintings inspired by those experiencing homelessness in the city.

“A lot of people just go outside and take pictures of the sky or trees in nature, but I want to capture the other stuff that we don’t tend to look at,” said Lambert. 

“I want people to know that these are experiences we all go through and that these are issues that happen in the world. I want people to look at it and feel something.”

Grade 13 student Madison Lambert stands between her two paintings inspired by visible homelessness in London.
Grade 13 student Madison Lambert stands between her two paintings inspired by visible homelessness in London. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

One of Lambert’s paintings, titled Lost and Found, features a woman rummaging through a garbage bin, and the other called London Housing, shows a grocery cart filled with an individual’s personal belongings. 

“We never think about it, but these are people’s homes. This is how people live and where all of their necessities and personal belongings are and they’re just out in the streets,” she said, adding that piece is resonating with spectators. 

Grade 12 student Brook-Lynn Forgêt painted what she calls “the distorted version” of a self-portrait for the first time in her piece called Home. Using bright colours, she wanted to put a funky touch on finding a sense of home within one’s body.  

“While I was making this piece, I was having a sort of catharsis moment where I was realizing that no matter where you live or where you reside in your life, your home will always be your skin. Throughout my whole life, this body is my home,” said Forgêt

Grade 12 student Brook-Lynn Forgêt used bright green and pink to distort a self-portrait she made to pay homage a sense of feeling at home within one's body.
Grade 12 student Brook-Lynn Forgêt used bright green and pink to distort a self-portrait she made to pay homage to a sense of feeling at home within one’s body. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

“It’s green, so what stands out most is how it juxtaposes what a normal portrait would be, and the colours are distorted in a way that I found really interesting.”

Oliver Johnston, 18, created multiple pieces, including a sculpture of their face and a textile project called And Now We Make Music. It features small houses stacked on top of each other, accompanied by ladders and a marble track on the inside to include sound. 

The vibrant colours on the small houses have caught the attention of many viewers, said Johnston. Their inspiration was the five years they’ve spent at Beal and the friendships they’ve made within this time. 

Grade 13 student Oliver Johnston stands next to their project called "And now we make music" which is inspired by their time at Beal and the friendships they've fostered.
Grade 13 student Oliver Johnston stands next to their project called “And now we make music” which is inspired by their time at Beal and the friendships they’ve fostered. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

“Originally, I didn’t have many friends. As I’ve been here for a long time, I’ve made a lot of friends and it’s been pretty great. [The piece] is saying, ‘When you have a lot of people, you make music together.’ Now that I have a lot of friends, we’re making music together through the marble track,” said Johnston. 

The art show will continue at Beal for its last day on Monday.

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