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Limitless creativity with Noreen Beets

The art teacher is lover of all art forms and that she gets to inspire others through it, is something she revels in.

The first painting art teacher, Noreen Beets, ever drew was done while she was in high school, and it was portrait of one of King Henry VII wives.

She has come a long way from creating art that just depicts portraits of women from the middle ages. Now she throws herself into any and every opportunity to depict beauty in all forms. Through her classes at Berario Recreational Centre, she has managed to draw out the artist in over 80 students who she has worked with in the past 15 years as she focuses on art and expression.

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It’s interesting to think that even though she has always had a love for art – it wasn’t the contrast she thought to add in early years as she was quite academically inclined. After she matriculated from De La Salle Holy Cross College she soon married and then relocated to Bloemfontein. Feeling lonely, due to not having friends and not being fluent in Afrikaans, she found the perfect remedy to her loneliness to be her craft work which then re-opened the door to her passion for art.

Noreen Beets paints a the landscape in the Eastern Cape. Photo: Neo Phashe
Noreen Beets paints a the landscape in the Eastern Cape. Photo: Neo Phashe

It was only when she was about 35-years-old that she really delved into it and in time she opened art classes in Randpark Ridge to eventually end up at the recreational centre, a space she describes as having always been dynamic. “There are so many different disciplines here, so looking at art in many forms, from dance, performance, dramatics, music to gymnastics, and sports.” The big space she teaches in also allows for something she really enjoys, which is getting messy. She loves that she created a place where people can come in and feel inspired and boundless.

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Now at 67-years-old, her knowledge of art is expansive and inspiring, not just to her students but those lucky enough to be in her presence when she shares what she’s learned.

Beets is a strong believer that people should leave a legacy. One of the ways she aims to do this is through the many murals she has either done or been a part of. The walls of Baragwanath Hospital’s radiology departments can speak to this as well as those of Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, where she took some students along to paint entire rooms for the children. “This is something where people get to give back and where people get the chance to explore their creativity in a big format,” she described.

Noreen Beets critiques a students painting. Photo: Neo Phashe
Noreen Beets critiques a students painting. Photo: Neo Phashe

She aims to create something daily. “The artwork may not be painting everyday, it could be a photograph I take or a branch that I tie with a bow.” Her true passion though, is collage. Collage is described as the result of art in which pieces of paper, photographs, fabric and other ephemera are arranged and stuck down onto a supporting surface.

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