Scholarship recipients announced

Published 9:36 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Board of Directors of the Suffolk Art League recently announced the 2019-20 Sharon Picot and Chip Picot Memorial Student Scholarship and John R. Taylor Student Scholarship recipients.

“With 28 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 nine students to receive a total of $4,525 to be used towards their artistic endeavors.

Both the Picot and Taylor Memorial Scholarships are offered to students who will be in grades six through 12 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.

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“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 theater, music and visual arts classes and intensive workshops, and purchase art materials and equipment.”

The recipients for 2019-2020 Sharon Picot and Chip Picot Memorial Student Scholarship are:

  • Brianna Josey is a student at Nansemond River High School and the Governor’s School for the Arts. She plans to use her scholarship to attend Maryland Institute College of Art pre-college Residential Program, which lasts two weeks. Brianna has dedicated herself to becoming an illustrator so that she will be able to inspire people through her stories.
  • Lily Kirk currently attends Nansemond River High School and will be entering her junior year this fall. Her scholarship will help pay for her to attend Virginia Commonwealth University summer intensive for pre-college arts. After graduating, she hopes to attend VCU to continue to her studies in art toward becoming a storyboard artist or illustrator.
  • Nevaeh Raysor will be in the seventh grade next school year at John Yeates Middle School. She is striving to become a professional musician playing the saxophone. She wants to use her scholarship to take lessons at Old Dominion University Community Division.
  • Kendal Roberson will be entering his senior year at Lakeland High School in the fall. Since the fifth grade when music opened his eyes and entered his heart, he has been in love with music. Music allows him to focus and organize his mind. Kendal’s goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in education so he has the opportunity to plant seeds of fascination in music and art.
  • Savannah Stephens attends John Yeates Middle School, where she will be entering the eighth grade in the fall. She will be using her scholarship to attend the Virginia Stage Company’s summer camp in July. Savannah would like to pursue a career on Broadway. Music is her passion; she believes it makes her a better person.
  • Ezekiel Swindell will be entering the sixth grade this fall at John Yeates Middle School. He would like to become a professional artist with his own business using his talents to inspire people to create art. He feels art is a way of life. He is planning to use his scholarships to purchase art supplies. Ezekiel is also a John R. Taylor Memorial Student Scholarship for Visual Art recipient.

The other John R. Taylor Memorial Student Scholarship for Visual Art recipients are:

  • Olesia Jones attends Col. Fred Cherry Middle School and will be in the eighth grade this fall. She has been inspired to create art by other artistic family members. Her goal is to be able to teach art in high school or college. She wants to help future students develop their talent and express their beliefs and emotions. Olesia will use her scholarship to purchase supplies.
  • Anntorian Powell-Holland will be a sophomore at Lakeland High School in the upcoming school year. She plans on purchasing supplies so she can practice new methods in art. Anntorian would like to attend Virginia Commonwealth University after graduation to pursue a BFA in Fine Arts.
  • Lillian Rogers will be a sixth-grader at King’s Fork Middle School. She is always challenging herself to learn more art methods and improve the ones she already knows. She does this by setting goals for herself and when she reaches those goals, she sets new ones. She is planning to use her scholarship to purchase supplies so she can continue to develop her artistic skills.

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 Sharon & Chip 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 Sharon & Chip Picot Scholarship Fund and the John Taylor Scholarship Fund. Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the Picot Scholarship Fund or 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 Taylor Scholarship Fund. For more information about the Suffolk Art League and programs offered, visit or call 925-0448.