Art is powerful. It is heART.

Art is powerful. It tells stories in way that other mediums cannot. It’s so expressive, touching and beautiful. This story is about a 17-year who uses art as a tool, art as a weapon to promote positive messages. I don’t know her, but she inspired me. I hope she inspires you as well. We have many talented artists within our Tamil-Canadian community, and just imagine the work that could arise if they dug deep into their hearts and let their emotions spill onto a canvas. There is an upcoming Art Exhibition, Witness, and I look forward to this exhibition for that very reason, because art is powerful. It can move people, it speaks what we cannot say in words.

–       Vaanmathy

 Talented artist seeks world change and she’s only 17, Dreamer has already shown what she can do

 Daniel Dale Staff Reporter

 Camille Gordon sits in the chapel of St. Augustine Secondary School in Brampton. Three of her fellow Grade 12 art students sit beside her.

They are here because Gordon invited them to an interview intended to be just for her, because Gordon wanted to share the attention, because that is how Gordon is. And they are surely promising 17-year-olds, intelligent and ambitious and idealistic. But there is no getting around the obvious.

“I just think that if anybody I’ve ever known is going to actually make some legit changes in the world,” says Chelsea Matthews, “it’s Camille. I don’t even know how she does everything she does.”

Running in the halls helps a bit. So does sleep deprivation. That she often gets three hours a night, sometimes none at all, concerns her mom, her teachers and her friends.

She shrugs off their worries. She is learning, she says at her church after school, how to say no — but she will not say no too often. There are too many problems to be solved.

“I want to do huge things,” Gordon says.

She says it, fittingly, with a paintbrush in her hand. An activist with a sketchpad, she hopes to make a difference through art — and, also, through the achievement of her impossibly long list of art-related and non-art-related goals. Asked to share it while sitting in the chapel, she says, with a laugh, “I don’t want to waste your time.”

Gordon speaks with her whole body; in her mannerisms and her ever-present smile, she calls to mind Pinball Clemons. She also shares Clemons’ audacity.

She wants to have five pieces displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She wants to create a record label for artists who promote positive messages. She wants to create a youth fashion line that is “eco-friendly, cost-effective, fashion-forward.”

Deeply religious and active in church charitable efforts, she wants to run programs for prisoners. She’d like to be a UN ambassador. (“See what I mean?” Matthews whispers, wide-eyed, at this point.) She is thinking about getting involved in politics.

Gordon, who has an academic average of 93 per cent, is gifted technically. But it is the sophistication of her mind that make her a once-in-a-lifetime art student, says St. Augustine art and design teacher Chris Chisholm. He says he feels like Wayne Gretzky’s coach.

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