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Mcristle Ross Minority Painter's Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Mar 11, 2024
Winners Announced
Apr 11, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate student or high school student accepted to a college or university
African American
Field of Study:
Art or art history

Mcristle Ross was a beloved mother who was passionate about art, particularly paintings.

Mcristle’s passion for art was born out of a blended love for creativity, innovation, and people. She enjoyed viewing artistic expressions. As a non-artist, she honed her artistic eye through years of course study and field practice. She marshaled her humble resources to purchase art until she eventually became a budding art collector. She understood the Arts’ role and importance in our life and believed it to be a necessary expression of the human spirit and critical to our existence. She deeply empathized with the plight of artists and sought to support them as much and as often as she could.

This scholarship seeks to honor the memory of Mcristle Ross by supporting minority students who are pursuing artistic degrees in college.

Any African American undergraduate student or high school student accepted to a college or university who is majoring in art or art history may apply for this scholarship. While painters are preferred, all art forms (visual art, sculpture, photography, etc.) are encouraged to apply.

To apply, tell us why you’ve decided to pursue art and what inspires your art. Additionally, submit examples of your work.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Passion
Published September 16, 2023
Essay Topic

Why have you chosen to pursue art? What inspires you artistically? Submit examples of your work.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Tyree Jones
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical CampusDenver, CO
My family’s history was never one to be preserved. It’s a universal experience for a black kid to learn about slavery and wonder if that dark stain directly affects them. In my adulthood, that reality was confirmed for me. I experienced every different stage of grief, sorrow for my ancestors, and confusion about my identity. After months of mental toiling, I arrived at the realization that I wouldn’t be who I am without my ancestors’ sacrifices. I saw them in myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then came the question of “How do I honor them? How do I give back to people who gave so much to me?” My first time visiting an art museum, it felt like I had taken a step back in time. Art was a powerful expressive tool for me throughout my childhood, but I had never seen art transcend time the way it did in a museum. It seemed to color all of the stories I had been told in history class, but the more I immersed myself in that world, the more I realized it did not describe my past or any other black person’s past. If I saw art about black people, it was a constant reminder of that dark stain. Our beauty was smeared away. This is what helped me bridge the gap between art as a communication tool and a time-traveling tool. I realized I couldn’t go back in time to give, but that I had to look forward and change the narrative myself for my children and my children’s children. That became my way to honor my ancestors – to give as much as they gave me. I started first with portraits of black protestors, to show our resilience. Then I moved to self-portraiture to examine black identity. Now I’m painting tremendous portraits of my family to preserve them as royalty. I think about the numerous times I’ve gone into a museum and seen a portrait of a typical 1800s European family, and how their image was preserved; how they were immortalized as the heart of America. I’m overcome with gratitude at the thought of that being my family’s portraits one day. I hope that in the future another young woman like me can see people who look like her being immortalized and celebrated in art through my work. I can honor my family’s history by portraying us as deserving of being painted and turning that dark stain into something beautiful. Future generations won’t have to discover art and be left with a hole of questions as to why we weren’t included. Instead, they can be instilled with the burning desire to contribute in the same way I had, and others before me. I just want to be the ancestor for future generations in the same way that my ancestors were for me. I may not know exactly where my work will settle years from now, but I do know that it is my life’s purpose to celebrate and exalt black lives through art. If my work can inspire one person, then I’ll have been fulfilled.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 11, 2024. Winners will be announced on Apr 11, 2024.

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