For DonorsFor Applicants

Hilda Klinger Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Aug 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Sep 15, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior
Field of Study:

“Every artist was first amateur.” 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Hilda was a gifted and devoted artist. She always said that she was born with a pencil in one hand and a box of crayons in the other. Her artistic passion was creating portraits and filling her home and community with beautiful pieces of artwork. 

Over the years, she dabbled with several artistic mediums from pencil to charcoal to oil and finally found her true passion when she fell head over heels in love with pastels. And while her artistic passions led her to the canvas, her personal passions made her an amazing wife, mom, grandma, aunt, and special someone to many!

Sadly, Hilda passed away in October 2021. Though Hilda never had an opportunity to pursue a degree in the arts herself, she encouraged other young artists around her to do so and enjoyed hearing about art education. The Hilda Klinger Memorial Scholarship seeks to honor the memory of Hilda Klinger by supporting students who are pursuing degrees in the arts.

Any high school senior who is pursuing an arts degree may apply for this scholarship opportunity.

To apply, tell us where your love of art originates from, who your favorite artist is, and why they are your favorite.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published May 14, 2024
Essay Topic

Please share where your love of art stemmed from. Who is your favorite artist and why?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Corinne Francis
Northern Illinois UniversityOttawa, IL
From the start, my mother gifted me with my love for the arts. Being a music teacher, she is--and always has been--a creative person who enjoys art in all its many forms. I thoroughly enjoyed the picture books she read to me as a child, but I especially loved being whisked away into the vivid illustrations that burst from the pages. As a small child, I lacked the words at the time, but it was then that I began to truly appreciate each art style, their intricacies, and the dedication taken by the artist with each expressive character, each encapsulating background, and each riveting scene. When I was around the age of ten, I began to take art seriously. I designed my own characters, taking inspiration from the books I read and the television shows I watched. My mom was in full support of this, gifting me art supplies on my birthday and for Christmas. Even in middle school, when I decided that I wanted to pursue visual art as a career, a risky one at that, she still encouraged me towards my goal. As a current senior in high school applying to colleges as an intended illustration major, she is still my strongest ally. I always approach her first for feedback on my work, and she always provides honest answers. She has never doubted or questioned me once in my goal of illustrating children's books, fortifying my love for art. She pushes me towards my goals when an unsupportive parent may have pushed me away from my creative pursuits. My favorite artist may very well be influenced by my connection with my mother. After seeing Mary Cassatt’s painting, "The Child’s Bath" upon my first trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, I instantly grew enamored with the work. The painting in question shows a mother bathing her young daughter. The child sits on her mother's lap while wrapped in a towel. Meanwhile, her mother washes her feet in a basin filled with water. Despite the painting being 129 years old, it has always connected with me. I remember being a toddler and bathing with my mother's help, playing with bubbles and pretending to be a mermaid while she played along. While the time period and circumstances are different, the concept and the love shared between mother and child always remains. Much of Cassatt's work lovingly displays this same concept. Her paintings are endearingly human, domestic, and real. They are beautiful, engaging moments frozen in time, still here for people to see themselves in today. I hope to captivate the same magical feeling in my own work throughout my artistic career.
Seneca Iniguez-Ramirez
Metropolitan State University of DenverAurora, CO
As funny as it sounds, my family is probably the least artistic family in the world. My mom jokes that she can't draw a straight line if her life depended on it and my brother couldn't even be bothered to pick up the pencil. That being said, I had to find art on my own. I had to find what it meant to me. My whole childhood, before each birthday I would ask for anything hands-on: Bracelet making kits, doll-making kits, art sets, etc. That was just the beginning. The best part of being creative was that money never held me back. My instant thought when I wanted something that my mom was unable to afford was “Can I make it? Is there a youtube video for this?.” My favorite project of mine was when I turned a plastic peanut butter container into a pink bedazzled piggy bank, similar to the one I saw at Walmart earlier that day. Although it wasn't pig-shaped, 10-year-old me was more than satisfied. In the 6th grade, I was signed up for orchestra class. I did a quick “eenie meenie miney mo” on the instrument sign-up sheet and my finger landed on the cello (thank goodness it did). Since that day I found a passion for a new aspect of art: Performing. I loved that my mom or brother didn't understand my love for the arts, it was my little secret. With that in mind, it is clear to me that my love for the arts stemmed from the fact that it was my own to go out and discover. In an alternate universe where my mom is a pianist and my brother is a fashion designer, I can still guarantee that I would love art but I doubt it would be the way I do here in this universe. I'm aware that everyone in the world enjoys art in some form whether it be music or decorative items in their home, but there's just something so incredible about being the artist. To have the ability to take something from your mind and make it come to life or to have the ability to pick an emotion you wish to portray through your music and see the effect it has on your listeners is simply amazing. On Instagram, I closely follow an artist that goes by the name of Cris Blackwater. She is a goldsmith that creates gorgeous custom jewelry and has earned a place as my favorite artist. What makes her stand out so brightly to me is that she just began her craft in 2020. I love that Cris took advantage of quarantine and found a new passion. I will be attending the Metropolitan State University of Denver for jewelry welding, Cris Blackwater’s work was one of the inspirations for my decision.
Chloe Borgmeyer
Minneapolis College of Art and DesignKansas City, MO
When I was little, no Saturday morning was complete without cartoons. My dad and I would sit on the living room floor with our bowls of cereal and watch Phineas and Ferb, just enjoying our time together. It didn't matter that we'd seen some of the episodes fifteen times, it was our thing. I remember one day they made a particularly funny joke on the show and my dad laughs, "I'd love to be in the room where they write one of these," he said through his chuckles. My five-year-old mind was blown. People actually get paid to make cartoons for a living? I had always been an artsy kid, but that was the first time I remember thinking of art as an actual career. My parents have always been supportive of the arts. My mom would always want to take us to the Nelson Atkins for her birthday. My sister and I would follow her around when we were little, laughing at all of the naked butts in the sculpture garden and trying to decipher the abstract art pieces. I don't think I truly appreciated how much she knew about art history. A math teacher by profession, my mom would point out all of the paintings by famous artists and talk about how she had seen their other works on her visits to Europe in her twenties. As I got older, I started to understand why she liked it so much. Now I know most of her stories by heart, and I always think of them when walking around the museum. I was a creative kid. My parents supported me in anything I wanted to do, so I never strayed from creative fields when my teachers asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. In elementary school I said I wanted to be a fashion designer, as I got older I wanted to be a writer, and then I watched Gravity Falls for the first time with my little sister. I had been a fan of cartoons before, if you can name it I probably watched it at some point or another, but there was something about that show that made me fall in love with the medium of animation. I loved the way that the Pines family felt like friends and the story felt like an escape. After I watched it I knew: I wanted to be an animator. You can say my love of art comes from my family. It has always been art that holds us together; from Saturday morning cartoons to U2 concerts, I have always felt closest to my family when we are enjoying art together. Now for my favorite artist, I could name drop some animation legends you've heard of in passing; Alex Hirsch, Dana Terrace, and Owen Dennis to name a few, but I would be lying. All of these people are wonderful, but the true artists are my parents. My mom may be too bashful to even touch a paintbrush, but she's always trying to create a way to make learning fun for her students, and she's not afraid to bust out a few dance moves in the kitchen. My dad works as a mainframe developer, but I've seen how happy he is when he's trying to perfect his chocolate chip cookie recipe or trying to draw a cartoon character for my sister. They may not be artists by profession, but they are creatives at heart, and I would not be where I am today without my favorite artists: Dana and Charles Borgmeyer.
Seth Jones
Thornton Fractnl So High SchoolLansing, IL
Art has been an intrinsic part of my life, igniting a deep passion from a familial connection. My mother, an artist, nurtured my love for artistic expression from an early age. We spent hours together painting and exploring the vibrant world of colors, shapes, and textures. It is through this bond that my love of art truly flourished. As an African American male, my art appreciation is enriched by the diverse narratives and unique perspectives it offers. One artist, in particular, has captured my heart and imagination: Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat's ability to blend graffiti, abstraction, and street art elements with profound social commentary resonates deeply with me. His bold, raw, and expressive style challenges societal norms and confronts issues of race, identity, and inequality. Basquiat's artistry embodies the essence of my personal experiences and the collective struggles marginalized communities face. His ability to transform the canvas into a platform for self-expression and social critique inspires me to explore art as a powerful tool for change. Through his work, Basquiat exemplifies the potential of art to transcend boundaries and give voice to the voiceless. However, it is the influence of my mother that has genuinely shaped my artistic journey. As a young boy, she encouraged me to explore my creativity, giving me the tools and space to express myself freely. We would embark on artistic adventures together, immersing ourselves in paint, brushes, and canvases. Her guidance and support have been invaluable, fostering my technical skills and nurturing a deep appreciation for art as a means of self-expression and storytelling. Through art, I have discovered a profound sense of liberation and empowerment. It allows me to communicate my thoughts, emotions, and experiences in ways that transcend language barriers. Art has become a medium through which I can challenge stereotypes, celebrate diversity, and shed light on the untold stories of marginalized communities. As I embark on my artistic journey, I am committed to carrying forward the legacy of my mother's guidance and Basquiat's inspiration. I aspire to use my artwork to amplify marginalized voices, spark conversations, and promote social change. By blending my unique perspective as an African American male with the artistic techniques and influences that have shaped me, I hope to create art that resonates with others and evokes a sense of connection and empathy. In conclusion, my love of art is deeply rooted in the creative bond shared with my mother and fueled by the profound impact of artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat. Their influence has ignited a fire within me to explore art as a means of self-expression, social commentary, and empowerment. As I continue my artistic journey, I am committed to using my art to celebrate diversity, challenge stereotypes, and shed light on the stories of those who often go unheard. Through my work, I aim to inspire and connect with others, leaving a lasting impact on the world through the power of art.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Aug 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Sep 15, 2024.