For DonorsFor Applicants

Lewis Hollins Memorial Art Scholarship

1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2024
Winners Announced
May 31, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Field of Interest:

This scholarship aims to empower and celebrate the diverse voices within the art community. Lewis Hollins was a vivacious and larger-than-life person and artist. His primary modes of work were watercolor and collage. This scholarship hopes to support students similar to Lewis who are passionate about their work. All students who are pursuing art are welcome to apply, though those who practice watercolor, are underrepresented minorities or are part of the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to apply. By investing in their artistic pursuits, we seek to foster an inclusive and vibrant creative landscape, showcasing the richness of their perspectives. This initiative endeavors to promote diversity, equity, and creativity within the realm of art and design.

Any high school senior who is pursuing an undergraduate degree in art may apply.

To apply, share what you hope to achieve through your artwork and how you envision your future relationship with art. Please also submit an example of your work.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Bold Points, Essay
Published November 29, 2023
Essay Topic

What do you hope to achieve through your art, and how do you envision your future relationship with your artwork? 

Please submit examples of your work. 

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jayla Smith
Dr Ronald Mcnair High SchoolJersey City, NJ
I can still vividly remember soothing Sunday mornings, sitting in my room with a pen in my hand and a blank sheet of paper in front of me. The bombastic beats of Sean Paul's music filled the air, making my fingers tap along to the rhythm. As I doodled away, I could hear my mother sweeping the floors of our home. Despite the noise, I felt calm and content, lost in my little world of artistic expression. My mother immigrated as a teenager to the United States in the 1980s. Although she spent most of her life living in America, her Jamaican roots never disappeared. As such, I was able to form a connection to the culture by proxy. Unfortunately, my relationship with Jamaican culture is fractured because I never had the chance to authentically experience the Caribbean. I understand patois, but I can't speak it. I love sorrel and chicken foot soup, but I have no clue how to make it. I've become some sort of a hybrid; Jamaican enough to be othered in school but too American to be considered a “yardee” at home. In a Caribbean family, being an artist is not considered a respectable career, at least not enough to honor my mother’s struggle when she came to this country. My desire to have an art career was seen as childish and a byproduct of my privileged American upbringing. I had to fight for the artistic opportunities I have now. I am a self-taught artist. I began teaching myself near the end of middle school, but my new “hobby” was ignored by my family, and referred to as a waste of time. I relied on verbal affirmations for my art, with no response. This experience taught me to scrutinize my work, identify areas for improvement, and learn from my mistakes. I had no other artistic guidance, so I had to become my own counsel. As I got older, and, in turn, more comfortable with my creations, I came to appreciate how rare it was for there to be eyes on my art; it gave me the freedom to move away from needing each piece to be perfect. Eventually, I began exploring the deeper meaning of my creations, aiming to convey a story rather than just an appealing aesthetic. Through my art, I was also able to learn more about myself and how my point of view differs from the people around me. Being a "hybrid" means my perspective differs from that of my peers as well as my mother. My decisions, likes, and interests are all a by-product of my unique interpretation of the world around me, and, as such, when I'm creating something that reflects my experiences, I feel most creative.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2024.

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