Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Student art shows no fear at Gallery in the Grove exhibit

Published on

Troy Shantz

Eighteen-year-old Han Yang arrived in Sarnia six months ago after emigrating from China. As the sun was setting that first day she pulled out her cell phone to capture a perfect scene of light andcolour.

Han Yang created her submission to the Fast Forward art show, "First Day," on the first day she arrived in Sarnia from China with her family last year. Troy Shantz
Han Yang created her submission to the Fast Forward art show, “First Day,” on the first day she arrived in Sarnia from China with her family last year.
Troy Shantz

“My first day coming here I felt was awesome,” said the 11th grader at Northern Collegiate.

“Everything was different. Everything had changed. I looked at the sunshine and I thought, ‘Everything is good,’ and I just took the picture.”

Her photo, called First Day, is one of about two-dozen pieces on display at Gallery in the Grove for the annual Fast Forward Art show.

The exhibit produced by area high school students includes paintings, mixed media, design and sculpture.

Grade 12 Northern student Olivia Walsh said music fueled her offering: a colourful, larger-than-life portrait of hip-hop artist Lil’ Yachty.

The eye-catcher greets viewers when they enter the second-floor gallery and was strong enough to take first prize in the painting category.

“I didn’t want it to just be a normal painting. Usually I’m not that good with skin tones and stuff,” said Walsh, who’s planning to study graphic design at Fanshawe College.

“And a lot of his music, like his aim, is kind of just inspiring kids. I wanted to use a lot of primary colours ‘cause that reminds me of kids.”

Walsh wasn’t planning to submit anything to the show but was persuaded by a friend.

“I was just shocked,” said Walsh when her art teacher called with the good news. “I didn’t think anyone would want a painting of a rapper to win an award.”

Gallery in the Grove, established in 1980, has hosted the Fast Forward show for six years. Typically the gallery, which shares the building with a Lambton library branch, hosts collections from two artists at a time.

Gallery board member and education coordinator Gwen Moore said she enjoys the change of pace.

“The high school students just offer such a unique look at the world with the work they present and the media they use, and I think sometimes the lack of fear in what they do, which we don’t always see in some of the regular artists,” she said.

“I’m really pleased with it. It’s lots of pop of colour and it has come together really well.”

Stimulating young artists one of the gallery’s mandates.

“We offer three to five scholarships every year for students going on in high school art, and when we had the opportunity to have the senior high school art show here, we embraced it very quickly.”

Fast Forward is on display at the Gallery in the Grove, 2618 Hamilton Rd., until May 27.

 

 

More like this