Beech Court is officially opened

9 November 2018

Will Gompertz, Arts Editor at the BBC, and former Abingdon School Headmaster Eric Anderson and his wife Poppy and daughter Kate, were the guests of honour at the official opening of Beech Court.

Following the Headmaster’s welcome, Will gave an entertaining address to the assembled boys, staff, governors and friends highlighting the importance of thinking like an artist.

Speaking about the new facility Will said, “Beech Court is a wonderful and important addition to Abingdon’s academic landscape, offering first-class spaces for art, the sixth form, and contemplation: a jewel to be enjoyed and shared with students from schools across the town.” 

Guests also enjoyed tours of the new sixth form centre, library and art department where visiting artist Cynthia Westwood, an outstanding figurative painter, had been teaching oil painting skills.

Before dinner, Will and the Andersons found time to give interviews to the School’s Martlet editorial team; we look forward to reading all about it when the Martlet is published later in the term.

The fantastic new facility was lit up in Abingdon pink with two giant griffens illuminating the walls. It looked stunning both inside and out. Beech Court has quickly become an integral part of the school, offering superb resources for use by the school and the local community. 

See more of the latest news

There was a real creative buzz within the Art department as Beech Court was officially opened.

Artist Cynthia Westwood joined us for the day. Cynthia is currently preparing work for an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery and she sells her work across Europe. She gave a talk about how she became a practising artist and demonstrated her painting techniques. In the afternoon the students had a master class with Cynthia. Over the space of four hours she helped improve our students’ oil painting skills. The sixth form students had to think carefully about their ground colours and shifting space to create depth within their own work.

The photo shows an example of work by Steve Lin (Lower Sixth). You can see that Steve is working from a photo that he took of a crushed pear. His oil painting is on the right.