Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marianne Fisher, Nancy Latchford & Connie Jefferess

Opening Thursday July 19th at 7PM

Beal Secondary School's Art program is celebrating 100 Years in 2012. In celebration of this even t there are events taking place throughout the year all over London. The events celebrate Beal's place as one of the premier secondary school art programs in Canada. The list of distinguished artists that have been part of Beal is a Who's Who of the London scene and includes many highly respected artists who have made a name for themselves nationally and internationally. People like Patterson Ewen (1925-2002), Greg Curnoe (1936-1932), Herb Arris (1923-2009), Mackie Cryderman (1896?-1969), the list is endless. 
When sculptor Ron Milton approached me in 2011 to ask if I would consider participating in th e2012 year lon celebration of 100 Years of Beal my answer was a resounding yes. Though not a Beal alumna I have been deeply affected through my contact with Beal. When the old Beal Art on Maitland was torn down I rescued , on a quiet Summer Sunday, the BEALART sign currently hanging in the west stairwell of the new Beal annex. It was a secret rescue and the sign was ceremoniously and fittingly restored to Beal during a Beal Year End Art Shoe at the then London Galleria currently known as Citi Plaza. My gallery next door to the exhibition hosted Return To Sender a Beal alumni show. Bevan Ling was retiring that year and he graciously accepted th emosaic sign thought lost by the faculty. It was at a Beal show that I met Byron Hodgins who was to be the feature artist of my first gallery show in April of 2000. Joseph Cernius, Trevor Kyle Carter, James McCreery, Gab Kokas, are a few of the young artists I met there. I am still in contact with all of them and cherish the early examples of their work dating from their time at Beal. They are part of the new generation of Canadian artists with a strong Beal connection. Recently reading Nancy Poole's informative Art of London I was reminded yet again of the importance of Beal to the arts in London.
 The Beal Art Program is important. It provides an extraordinary service to London keeping us supplied with aspiring artists some of whom will become great Canadian icons. Beal graduates are often given preferred status at art schools all over Canada. Beal enhances the reputation of London as an arts Mecca.
All that being said I had to decide on a focus. Fortuitously Marianne Fisher, herself a Beal graduate, approached me about the possibility of having a retrospective. Marianne's career in clay began at Beal with Herb Arris the head of the art department introduced her to the medium. She has never looked back. Marianne has had a successful career as a ceramic artist and now we have the opportunity to look back over her career through an exhibition of works she has held on to dating back to the beginning of her lover affair with clay.
I am also pleased to include work by Nancy Latchford, also a graduate of Beal. Nancy has created two new works that we are pleased to be exhibiting. As if that isn't enough we are thrilled to have a hanging by Connie Jefferess who taught at Beal and was also Nancy's mentor. Connie, now retired and in her eighties, was yet another artist touched by the inimitable Herb Arris. I almost feel like I should be calling this exhibition Herb's Choice as each of these artists was directly impacted by the energy and love of art that Herb exhibited through his dedication to maintaining a vibrant and exciting art program at Beal.
I hope you will take the opportunity to visit the gallery and see the work of:

~ Marianne Fisher ~ ceramic artist ~
~ Nancy Latchford ~ fibre artist ~
~ Connie Jefferess ~ fibre artist ~

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