Image via LeKesha Parkman
Prior to coming to the Myers School of Art, I was not comfortable enough to show my art. As artists we leave a piece of ourselves in our creations and the idea of someone seeing pieces of myself on a wall, with no possibility of explaining it, terrified me.
Thankfully, the faculty at Myers encourages students to compete in Myers’ Studio Scholarship Competition.
Annually occurring in the spring, students interested in competing need at least a 3.2 GPA in Myers Art courses and a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students can be awarded scholarships that range from $250 to $4,500.
There is an additional $5,000 Gillette Academic Scholarship awarded to the best senior, junior, sophomore or freshman. The award’s availability is thanks to endowed funds created by multiple donors of the Myers School of Art.
Students who have been accepted to compete are assigned a space to display their work. All full-time faculty then vote and determine the scholarship recipients.
I was nervous the first year I entered the scholarship competition, less so the second year, and barely at all this last year. For many students, including myself, this marks the final opportunity we will have to compete in this scholarship competition because we will graduate in 2022.
Participating in this competition over the last few years and being surrounded by so many students with various talents and disciplines made me realize early on that I wasn’t competing with them.
My time at Myers, and specifically this competition, has taught me how to compete with myself. After the first year, I wanted my second display to do and be better but this last time my focus was different.
It wasn’t only about winning something, although I must admit that is nice, my focus was centered on me cultivating my talent and showing my growth as an artist. I also looked forward to installing my display.
The atmosphere before the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was invigorating. For three days students filled the atrium of Myers before, during and after classes. Ceramist, metalsmiths, graphic designers, photographers, printmakers, sculptors and painting/drawing majors built their displays side by side.
The variety is still there, each discipline still being represented, but some camaraderie has been lost due to social distancing.
Artists cannot gather in the same way that we have in previous years. Despite that the spirit of collaboration has remained. Students had to filter into their spaces in waves instead of all at once, but we were still a community.
Kara DeVol, a 3rd year Graphic Design major and illustration minor, competed this year for the first time in the competition.
“The scholarship show brings out some of the best artworks and support from fellow students. Hanging my designs next to paintings and sculptures shows the collaborative and family nature we have at Myers,” Devol said.
Despite COVID-19’s undeniable influence, participating this year has been just as fulfilling as the previous years I’ve entered, and I encourage those who have the opportunity to compete in the future to do so.
It is a wonderful experience that allows students to interact with each other in ways that we cannot while in a classroom. It also allows us to display talents outside of our chosen Majors.
Myers’ Awards Ceremony will take place on April 9 of this year. I genuinely look forward to congratulating my fellow peers, I am sure there will be quite a few winners.