Scholarship makes art exploration possible

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, March 20, 2014

When I was a child, I put my parents and grandparents — and their incomes — through a painful series of lessons in various arts, both performing and otherwise.

I was never any good at ballet or twirling baton, even after a combined 12 years of lessons. I took recorder and keyboard lessons at school and gave them both up after one year. And I seem to recall convincing my grandmother to order me a set of painting instruction books from Bob Ross’s television show and then barely cracking them open once they arrived. He made it look so easy to paint “happy little trees,” and I soon discovered it wasn’t easy for someone with no talent. Sorry, Grandma.

Lessons and materials for the pursuit of various arts have only gotten more expensive since then, and those with actual talent can easily spend more money as they advance to higher levels of instruction and put more work into excelling at their craft.

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Fortunately, the Suffolk Art League offers a solution to the financial problems standing in the way of gifted young people who want to improve at their art. The Sharon Picot and Chip Picot scholarship is available to students entering grades 6 through 12 in the coming school year who want to pursue the visual, performing or literary arts. (Personally, I recommend the last option.)

Students who live in or attend school in Suffolk, whether public, private or home school, are eligible to apply. The scholarship can be applied toward lessons, purchasing materials, rental or purchase of an instrument or other necessities. Up to $2,000 will be awarded to one or more applicants.

For students who want to explore or continue pursuing an art but whose parents aren’t loaded with money, this is a perfect gateway to artistic learning.

Applications are due by April 24 and require an essay written by the student and a recommendation from a teacher or other knowledgeable person. Applications are available in school guidance offices and from art teachers. They can also be obtained at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave.

Call the Suffolk Art League at 925-0448 for more information.