As the academic year comes to a close, departments throughout the university are acknowledging excellence of the students within their programs in annual scholarship awards.
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Department of Art and Design is no exception.
The 2017 scholarship competition included 23 awards for students in every major. The winners were announced on April 2 at the Annual Festival of the Arts on campus.
Though the process for being considered for the awards included a brief application, students were assessed on the displays they organized for presentation in the Noel Fine Arts Center.
As much as scholarships support students financially, the awards also give students valuable experience presenting their work for an audience.
Atticus Plonsky, sophomore 2D art major, won the 2017 BFA Outstanding Portfolio Arts Bash Scholarship and the Arts Bash Scholarship through the department.
Plonsky described the preparation for the scholarship competition as “similar to setting up any portfolio which is what we do in the art program, making it cohesive and showing our strengths as much as possible.”
The experience has provided insight for Plonsky into his own goals for his upcoming years in the program.
“It told me what my strengths were and what I needed to work on and helped me figure out what classes I need to take next semester to round out my portfolio,” Plonsky said.
While having real-world experience, preparing artwork for showcase is especially valuable to beginning art students. The scholarship competition also brought valuable insight to upperclassmen.
Emma Krantz, senior BFA 2D art major, was this year’s winner of the Delta Dental of Wisconsin Art Award.
“It’s definitely taught me to continue making work because opportunities like this are going to come up, and it’s going to be important to have things to show when they do,” Krantz said. “The whole year I was making work. Then the time came that I was able to show it, and that was a really good lesson all the students in this program should know.”
Krantz also encourages students to apply for as many opportunities as possible, both to build up their resumes and to motivate direction in their work.
“I spent up to three years here before I knew what I was doing with my artwork,” Krantz said. “I think it’s important that students learn earlier in conceptually what they’re doing so when the time comes for a scholarship competition, they have a cohesive body of work to show.”
As well as the professional experience the scholarship competition provided students, it also had personal meaning for some of the winners.
“It was a great experience,” Alex Gillis, senior graphic design major, said. “I am definitely going to miss the sense of community we have in our senior class. Seeing everyone’s work displayed at the scholarship competition and seeing how talented everyone is, makes me hopeful that we are ready to go out into the world and do great things.”
While Plonsky will continue his studies at UWSP, Krantz and Gillis will be graduating.
“This money will go directly into art supplies, no hesitation,” Plonsky said.
While the scholarship will support Plonsky in his upcoming semesters at UWSP, he plans to apply for master’s programs once he graduates.
Krantz will be taking a year off after graduation to bolster her portfolio and create more work to grow as an artist before pursuing graduate programs.
Gillis is planning to move to the Twin Cities to begin applying to design agencies and working on her own web comic.
“It means so much to me to have received this generous award,” Gillis said. “Not only financially, but it feels good to have personal validation of everything I’ve accomplished during my time in the program.”