Art scholarships announced

Published 7:05 pm Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Board of Directors of the Suffolk Art League has announced the 2017-18 Sharon Picot and Chip Picot Memorial Student Scholarship and John R. Taylor Student Scholarship winners.

“With 14 applicants, the selection committee had a very difficult job selecting who would receive funding this year,” said Linda Bunch, executive director.

The Scholarship Selection Committee chose seven students to receive a total of $2,800 to be used towards their artistic endeavors.


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Both the Picot and Taylor Memorial Scholarships are offered to students who will be in grades sixth through 12th in the next school year. Students must either live in or attend school in Suffolk. Public, private and home-school students are eligible to receive funding.

Chiamaka Nnawulezi

“We want to help them begin or continue to explore the artistic area of their choice, whether visual, performing or literary art,” Bunch said. “This year, the scholarships will help students attend dance, theater, music and visual arts classes and intensive workshops and purchase art materials and equipment.”

The recipients for 2017-2018 are:

  • Lorraine Silcott is a student at John Yeates Middle School. She plans to use her scholarship to continue piano lessons, enter juried events and purchase music. This scholarship will allow her to continue her piano studies. She used music to express her emotions. “I go to the piano and my mood instantaneously improves,” she said.
  • Alisa Rose Chandler attends John Yeates Middle School. Her scholarship will help pay for piano, dance and voice lessons. She will be able to continue learning and exploring the arts with this scholarship. Miss Chandler takes her lessons seriously and has perfect attendance. This paid off earlier this year, when she landed the lead in her school’s production of “The Wiz” and five parts in the community production of “Shrek.”
  • Cree D. Diggs-Brown is a student at King’s Fork High School. Cree would like a hard-cello case and to attend New England Music Camp this summer. She wishes to pursue a career as a cellist in a symphony orchestra. Her instructor, Rebecca Gilmore Phillips, said, “I have been particularly impressed at her motivation to set her sights high early on, applying for a Carnegie Hall event (and, of course, getting in!) as well as other auditions, namely, the Bay Youth Orchestra of Virginia.”
  • Chiamaka Nnawulezi attends Nansemond River High School. She started with the Color Guard as just another extracurricular activity, but soon found it to become a passion. Her coach, Maya Jones, said she is a hard worker and excellent twirler as well as a great leader. During the year, “Chiamaka started as a rookie and worked her way up to a section leader,” Jones said. “I have never seen that happen in my years coaching at Nansemond River.”
  • Anastasia Montigny attends John F. Kennedy Middle School. She plans to use her scholarship for art supplies. Anastasia would like to attend Virginia Commonwealth University to study painting and printmaking. S. Kimberly Owens said, “She sketches all the time and has a vivid imagination.”
  • Zykira Richardson is a student at John F. Kennedy Middle School. With the Picot Scholarship, she will be able to purchase art supplies. As S. Kimberly Owens stated in her recommendation, “Zykira has all the attributes of a successful and exceptionally talented youth artist. These include extremely innovative and original ideas that indicate her pattern of thinking outside of the box, her strong work ethic, eagerness to take independent initiative to embark on new projects both inside and outside of school.”

The Suffolk Art League is also pleased to offer the John R. Taylor Memorial Student Scholarship for Visual Arts to honor John Taylor, one of the founding members of the art league and well known painter and teacher. This scholarship recipient will use the funding toward visual art endeavors.

  • Anntorian D. Powell-Holland is a student at John F. Kennedy Middle School. She would like to purchase art supplies and a drawing pad to help prepare her for attending Virginia Commonwealth University and majoring in art. Her art teacher, Owens, said, “unlike any other gifted students I have taught, Anntorian does not need visual references to create realistic drawing of real-world objects, people or animals.”

The Suffolk Art League is a community non-profit fine arts organization dedicated to making the arts accessible and providing education in the arts.
“Through the Picot Student Scholarship and John R. Taylor Student Scholarship programs, we hope to get students interested in the arts by providing funding for them to explore their personal passion for the arts,” Bunch said. “Often, family finances do not allow for private music or dance lessons, art classes or the purchase of specialty supplies. We hope these scholarships provide positive experiences for Suffolk students.”

Funding for these scholarships is provided by the Picot Scholarship Fund and the John Taylor Scholarship Fund. Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the Picot Scholarship Fund or John Taylor Scholarship Fund may do so by sending a check to Suffolk Art League, P.O. Box 1086, Suffolk, VA 23439 and note Picot Scholarship Fund or John Taylor Scholarship Fund. For more information about the Suffolk Art League and programs offered, visit or call 925-0448.