The winners of the high school artist competition stand with their art. From left: Rebecca Lahti, Claire Jin and Faye Marwick. (Samantha Anderson)

Student artists featured at West Fine Art Show at Cloverdale Country Fair

Exhibition at Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair displays work of Lord Tweedsmuir students

Art students from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary school are featured in this year’s West Fine Art Show, alongside established Western artists from across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Alberta.

On Friday afternoon, the students were given a chance to tour the show before it opened to the public. Artist and show organizer Brian Croft spoke with the students following their half-hour self-guided tour, encouraging them to continue expressing themselves creatively and to document the changing world around them.

Of the 11 artists whose work was chosen to hang on the walls, three were selected as winners and awarded a cheque from the West Fine Art Show and the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation.

Claire Jin took top prize, Rebecca Lahti was awarded second place, and Faye Marwick earned third.

Faye Marwick’s “Lost in a Mist of Time” began as a technical experiment — she had never before used watercolour on canvas, or gouache paint at all, for that matter. Her piece depicts gears surrounding a grandfather clock shrouded in mist. In her artist statement she wrote, “It seems that as we become more and more accustomed to new technology, we forget our roots and what got us to where we are now, taking history for granted and excusing ourselves from studying the past because it is ‘no longer relevant.’”

Rebecca Lahti used acrylic, ink, coffee, gauze and transfer gel to achieve her “Name for the Nameless Faces.” Her piece was particularly inspired by the First World War, and “the many fallen soldiers who may never be acknowledged by name.”

She modified and arranged text from the Zimmerman Telegram to construct the nameless soldier. The telegram was sent from the German Foreign office to the German ambassador to Mexico to propose an alliance between Germany and Mexico during the First World War.

Each line of numbers was individually placed and electronically modified to create the shape of the soldier’s face, and was then transferred onto canvas.

“The intention of my artwork is to acknowledge the individual identities that are lost in the driving force of a warring nation,” Rebecca wrote in her artist statement.

Claire Jin’s winning work, “Potala,” draws inspiration from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of drawing sand mandalas, “which involves the creation and destruction of specific patterns made from coloured sand,” she explained.

“My artwork explores the juxtaposition between the impermanence of life and the eternal nature of truth,” she said. “I chose to use texture gel to model the face of the Tibetan woman to resemble the form of sand and the state of impermanence. While her face ages and changes with time and suffering, the spark of her soul burns brightly with her eyes. The building in the background is the Potala Palace in Tibet, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in China.”

The winning entries hang in the West Fine Art Show alongside the work of Maddie Mitro, Margaret Armstrong, Ashley Pocrnich, Casey Castaneda, Trish Guarin, Erin Kroi, Herkirat Waraich and Lucy Fournier.

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Faye Marwick’s Lost in a Mist of Time started off as a technical experiment, and ended in a third-place win. (Samantha Anderson)

Rebecca Lahti’s piece, Name for the Nameless Faces, uses the text from the Zimmerman Telegram to give a face to the many lost in the First World War. (Samantha Anderson)

Claire Jin’s winning piece, Potala, drew inspiration from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of sand mandalas. (Samantha Anderson)

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