For DonorsFor Applicants

Catherine (Kay) Williams Memorial Arts Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
The Williams Family
2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
May 1, 2025
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2025
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Field of Study:
Education Level:
High school senior
GPA greater than or equal to:
Financial Status:

The family of Catherine Williams is offering a scholarship opportunity for an aspiring young artist living in Florida. The scholarship honoring Catherine's life will be awarded to the winning high school senior who submits a photo of an original work of art (drawing, acrylic/oil painting, or watercolor) along with a short description of the inspiration for the piece. All submissions will be considered and reviewed by the scholarship committee.  

Catherine was a treasured wife, loving mother of six, and an accomplished corporate executive who nurtured her artistic talent later in life.  As most folks settle into a slower pace of life during their retirement years, Catherine’s life was busier than ever.  She painted every single day, often in 6-8 hr stretches and said her artistic process had enormously positive therapeutic effects.  She had once told her grand daughter that when she painted - she simply forgot about all her problems and would get completely lost in the scene she was working on.  Even before she finished one painting, she was already enthusiastically caught-up in the excitement of starting her next piece.  Catherine shared some of her vast collection of work (130+ pieces) with the public during her two exclusive exhibitions. Catherine's artwork graces the walls of those lucky friends and family members who regard her art as a treasured possession and a cherished reminder of her exuberant spirit. Her passion for art inspired all who knew her!

Catherine’s passion for art can live on through you.  Apply for The Catherine Williams Memorial Arts Scholarship today.

Selection Criteria:
Drawing or painting submission, Photo, Essay
Published June 14, 2024
Essay Topic

Submit an original art piece you've created and tell us what your inspiration behind the piece was.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Malyssa Ollar
Gibbs High SchoolPalm Harbor, FL
Title: Routine Medium: Acrylic paint, embroidery thread Size: 3' x 5' Makeup is an integral part of girlhood. Whether or not you were allowed to wear makeup as a young girl supposedly defined the woman you would become in the future; Makeup too young meant you were trying too hard, but makeup too late meant you were unattractive. Growing up, I dug through my mom's collection of tubes and palettes, hoping to find something I could return to my room with and claim as my own. As a plus-size woman, I feel that makeup is one of the only ways I garner respect and 'redeem' my physical appearance. My morning routine is tailored to the application of makeup and drives the rest of my choices for the day. The use of pink throughout this piece represents traditional femininity and the 'standard' for what girls like. In addition to the pink, the use of embroidery for the flowers blends the femininity of the craft and the piece itself. Lilies represent innocence, but also rebirth. In choosing lilies for the embroidery, I strived to showcase the idea that while makeup began as a mask for me, I am able to reclaim it and use it as an art form instead. Embroidery and sewing have deeply feminine roots, most of these trades being passed from mother to daughter, or grandmother to granddaughter. In my case, my grandma taught me to embroider when I was 7, and I fell in love with the craft. Through my paintings, I try to hold all that she has given me in my heart and display the love I have for her onto my canvas. In using embroidery with this painting, I aimed to channel her femininity and grace into the flowers for the final outcome. I feel that blending these two differing mediums of creativity has opened doors for me to express my unique perspective on traditional feminine roles and stereotypes. Overall, my love for creating artwork has carried my grandmother's craft through time and allowed me to express my perspective on femininity and body image. Through the use of intimate spaces and moments, I hope to recount not only a universal morning routine for women but a universal moment of peace and understanding between women of all generations. Girlhood, over time, turns to womanhood and motherhood and allows us to share these intrinsic feminine experiences with our own daughters down the road.
Sarah Gunn
Harrison Center for Visual and Performing ArtsLAKELAND, FL
Memories are timeless and personal and need to be honored. I have focused on intimate memories through emotional paintings. The tragedy of losing a loved one is sad, but I want to embrace the memories spent and look at death as one's celebration of life. Through my process, I explore allusive mark-making, colors, and textures that represent how I usually perceive depressing obstacles. I juxtapose these materials into a memorial of all the good times that have lasted in my memory. With the loss of loved ones in my life. I want the viewer to acknowledge grieving is a healing process. Through the creative power of personal expression, I can acknowledge loss through the celebration of memories and life itself. In this piece titled “ Mourning Print,” I was inspired to make a piece after the death of my guinea pig Espresso. After she died I was only left with the items that represented her while she was living. One of the items was a mould of her feet. So, I decided I wanted to make a painting to honor our bond together. The paw prints in the background were made by using the mould of her feet. I wanted to represent her, but not explicitly. Using a 3-D element in my piece was the route I decided on. No matter what, the memories we spent together are eternal. I will never forget the impact she made on my life. The central figure is me. Previously, this painting was left in my closet. I never had a true intent to finish it. It was nothing more than a simple self-portrait. After an epiphany, I was finally able to continue the once-discarded piece. The piece once represented me before the death of my guinea pig, but now continuing it represents my emotions after her passing. With this new narrative, I was able to complete my piece to honor the timeless memories I and my guinea pig shared. However, the piece was difficult to start. Reminiscing on the past is not easy, especially after making this piece so soon after her death. Although initially it was a struggle I was able to overcome myself only focusing on the unfortunate aspects of death, but instead I came to memorialize the good memories spent together. Though she was a guinea pig I want the viewer to understand the death of a pet is still an impacting death. It will never easy losing something, especially a pet.
Paula Pierre
One School Of The ArtsCasselberry, FL
This painting is titled Can't Fix Me. My inspiration for this painting did not fully strike until I was in the middle of painting it. My original plan was to simply paint a girl, whole and unbroken. Then, I decided that I wanted a stronger message behind it. The title describes the journey we take of trying to fix ourselves to satisfy the standards of others, and in the process, losing who we are. I was inspired by how strong this desire to fix ourselves is in high school. We are surrounded by hundreds of different opinions and standards, and I would feel as though I needed to change to fit into those boxes. I watched others carefully in how they would act, as well as the responses they got from others. Whenever I saw someone get a positive and validating response to who they were, I would feel as though I should be that way as well in order to receive that same validation. But, in the process, I found that I changed so much so quickly that I couldn't remember who or how I was in the first place. I had become so many different people except myself; my identity was everyone else's. Truthfully, it was a bit disorienting, as though I was lost. That's what this painting is about. The girl has tried to change so much that her original identity is breaking and fading away. Although, it's fading slowly. That's the worst part. When you change for others, you don't see it at first. It's slow. Small specks of yourself are fading away but you're too occupied to notice. Her eyes, which I worked to make look like she was looking at the painting's viewer, are almost begging the viewer for answers. She's asking what to do next, or worse, who to be next. But she's also crying for help. Losing yourself is a scary process. It's a choice you have to make of whether you will continue to change or try desperately to re-unite yourself with the only person whose opinions of you should matter: you. Although, change is also inevitable. As we grow and learn from our mistakes, we change. It's how that change affects us that matters. Are we being truthful and honest with ourselves, and who we want to be, or are we letting ourselves fall into self-destruction? This is the intended meaning of the painting, but I also want to open it up to interpretation. I want the viewer to hear the message that speaks to them and perhaps even see themselves in the girl. That's what I want my art to do: speak to and inspire others.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2025. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2025.