Pomerene Center hosts exhibit featuring works of Beall’s former students

| April 29, 2019

Myrtle Beall opened an exhibit on Saturday, April 27 at the Pomerene Center for the Arts entitled, “The Art of Beallism”, which will run at the center until May 14. She is pictured here with her mixed media artwork, “Lenore”, which are different representations of her mother using paper dolls that originated from the memory of making paper dolls with her sister when they were children.

COSHOCTON – Myrtle Beall retired last year from Coshocton High School, having served as the school’s art teacher from 1984 to 2018. In that time, she touched the lives of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 students and has always wanted to create an opportunity for her students to showcase their art work since graduation. That opportunity has now become a reality through the latest exhibit at the Pomerene Center for the Arts entitled, “The Art of Beallism”.

“When you have kids for three or four years, and when you’re in the social situation that we’re in, it’s very easy to get attached to them [students] and involved in their lives,” said Beall. “Then when they leave, it’s almost like the empty nest syndrome. I’ve always wondered where they are at, what they’ve been doing, and if they’re still doing anything that I taught them.”

Beall has wanted to have an alumni show for the past three to four years and approached Anne Cornell of the Pomerene Center for the Arts last spring to see if her vision could become a reality. Out of that vision came the culmination of artwork from 50 artists, all former art students of Beall, and an exhibition dedicated to Beall’s teachings, which students in her class started referring to as “Beallisms”. The exhibit features a wide variety of art mediums including the traditional watercolors and acrylics, but also glass, sculptures, jewelry, mixed media, floral arrangements, and much more.

In addition to the artwork submitted by her former students, one room in the Pomerene Center has been dedicated to Beall’s newly-created artwork. Beall has created six new pieces for the exhibit, each one uniquely different and inspired by her parents.

“These pieces are different than what I normally do,” said Beall. “Normally, I do watercolors, but most of these pieces are mixed media, or what I used to call upcycling. I’ve always done what I found interesting. I’ve always created art for myself. If you like it, then that’s just a bonus. I feel art should be created because it moves you to feel like you should create it.”

Many of Beall’s former students came to the opening night of the exhibition and shared how Beall inspired them.

“I decided to be an art teacher after interacting with Mrs. Beall,” said Anne Thomas, who helped Beall with the exhibit. “We went to the same school and it was amazing.”

One former student, Chelsey Hostetler, uses art in her everyday life while working at a library.

“I went to art school and got a double major in fine art sculpture and art history,” said Hostetler. “Mrs. Beall really inspired me to do that. I work in a library which is my second love and I’m in charge of their art program.”

Amber Longsinger said she appreciated Beall because she didn’t just teach painting in her classroom.

“She teaches art, not just drawing and painting,” said Longsinger. “I really liked the 3D art and sculptures. I’m really not that in to painting.”

Lauren Davis said that Beall encouraged her to go into photography.

“When we were in school, we didn’t have photography or anything like that and Mrs. Beall was so awesome letting me pursue that passion even though it wasn’t offered at Coshocton,” said Davis. “Her encouragement helped me become who I am today.”

Shena Kaye, 1997 CHS graduate, said she always thought of Beall as more than just a teacher.

“She was basically my mother,” said Kaye. “She was the safe haven for the outcast and the misfits. I was an athlete and was involved in sports, but the only place I felt at home was in room 213 [Beall’s classroom]. Every study hall, I would get a pass and come down to her classroom and spend time with Mrs. Beall.”

Kaye is now a photographer in Perrysville, Ohio and hopes to start a non-profit service because of Beall.

Since Beall’s retirement, in addition to working on the exhibit, she has been trying to decide what’s next for her as an artist.

“I’ve just been trying to figure out retirement,” said Beall. “It’s just a different thing to do. I have had a challenging time figuring out my days. This is a turning corner for me. Once this show is done tonight, I feel like I’ll be looking for the next thing. I don’t know what the next thing is yet, but I can feel it. It’s out there.”

“The Art of Beallism” will run at the Pomerene Center for the Arts until May 14.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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