Drumroll, please! It has been a surreal few months for the world at large, and we are excited to share some uplifting news. Today we are announcing the winners of the Rau for Art Foundation’s annual Art Scholarship Competition. But first, here’s a little background on the Rau for Art Foundation.
What are we?
The “RFA” is one of M.S. Rau’s primary charitable initiatives. The RFA’s mission is to “support arts appreciation and education in the schools of Greater New Orleans by assisting talented young artists to reach their academic and professional goals in the arts.”
Who are we?
The RFA is staffed by a rotating committee of passionate M.S. Rau employees. All work is supplementary to the team’s primary job responsibilities and is borne from a desire to support the community and nourish a future generation of successful artists. This year’s Scholarship Chair is Zoe Johnson, who has been supported by Coles Loomis, Martine Lowe, Thom Bennett, Skye Ross, and Dominique Giosa.
How does the Art Scholarship Competition work?
Each year, the RFA announces a special theme on which high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from five parishes in the Greater New Orleans area (Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, and St. Charles) submit original artworks. The M.S. Rau team narrows down the submissions to ten finalists, whose works can be seen in our inaugural Virtual Finalist Exhibition
Then, a panel of amazing guest judges
votes to select the three winners — all of whom receive money to support college tuition to further develop their skills and interests.
So... who won?!
For starters, here is the prompt to which our young and talented artists responded:
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE EARTH! Our planet is a unique wonderland, from the oceans’ coral reefs to otherworldly caves, lush rain forests and beyond. We invite you to create a work of art that demonstrates your love for the Earth. Whether you take a global point of view or highlight the landscape of Louisiana, use your artistic genius to celebrate this planet, as it’s the only one we’ve got!
And now, for the winning artworks....
THIRD PLACE GOES TO:
Home and Heartby Morrah Burton-Edwards, Lusher Charter School
Acrylic on Illustration Board, 16" x 21″
Artist Statement: Humans only have one home: Earth. It is a place that is so ingrained in our lives, it is an essential part of human life we take advantage of everyday. The earth that we live in is ingrained in our lives, and that’s what I chose to depict. A young girl is shown being made up of various imagery from planet earth, because without earth she would not exist. And without the earth she has no future, so the earth landscapes are uplifting her to the future. I included some natural and urban landscapes because people view earth in different ways. Overall I want the viewer to be reminded that we are dependent on earth and its beautiful features, and so we must continue to take care of it.
OUR SECOND PLACE WINNER IS:
Our Heartbeatby Ella Bereziuk, Covington High SchoolAcrylic, 8 1/4″ x 11 1/4″
Artist Statement: The earth is a wondrous place filled with vibrant colors, breathtaking views, and diverse scenery, all coming together to make a masterpiece. However, the earth today is also facing more problems than ever; including climate change, deforestation, water and air pollution, and so much more. The most concerning part about this is that we are the ones who cause our home to suffer in this way, even after we acknowledge it as an issue. My painting represents the earth as the heart of every living thing. We need it to survive and it needs our love and care to flourish. Without the pure water to circulate through the ground and the trees to keep the air clean, the heart would stop beating. Daily, animals and nature become increasingly harmed by the earth’s own children worldwide. Of all the planets in the galaxy, the earth is the one that gives us life, and that makes it quite special. My hope is that one day our planet will no longer be suffering, and instead thrive in the care it is given. My hope is that the earth and its people become one.
...AND A GIANT ROUND OF APPLAUSE GOES OUT TO FIRST PLACE WINNER:
by Zane Gremillon, Archbishop Shaw High School
Watercolor on paper, 18″ x 24″
Artist Statement: Art has given me the ability to perceive the world in its truest form. In its colors, radiance, and vibrancy, the world comes to life through my eyes. Art has shown me that it is crucial to be kind to yourself above all else, and in life the same rules apply. Both require focus and determination in order to be successful. Every social experience, and all of the art you create, paves the way for your growth on Earth. With this personal message in mind, I created what should be celebrated rather than destroyed. By highlighting Earth’s natural phenomena in the form of a celestial deity, my work personifies our planet and attaches a face to its uncanny beauty.
We hope these students and their artworks have inspired you, as much as they have inspired us. Keep calm and keep creating. Art makes the world a better place!
To learn more about RFA, please visit www.rauforart.com