The Fort Myers Beach Art Association honored 11 students from Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts and more students from Cypress Lake Middle School during its annual student scholarship show Sunday afternoon.
Three local high school seniors received college art tuition scholarships after their works of art were judged by part-time Beach resident Pat Fair, who is the director of Arts by the Bay Gallery in Havre de Grace, Md. Three middle school students were given merit awards and art supplies.
Yearlong fundraising by the art group and an annual grant by the Town of Fort Myers Beach directly benefited the scholarship fund.
Sara Johnston captured first place for her works of art.
"The quality of the work is exceptional, and the professionalism of the students is just remarkable," said FMBAA scholarship committee chairperson Joanne Shamp. "Not only are the high school students very talented, you can compare the body of work from the middle school students in the auxiliary gallery. What the faculty brings out of these talented students in a period of four to six years is just unbelievable."
Shamp stated the Beach Art Association tends to be older individuals, but the age difference and art style was viewed as a welcoming factor.
"It's always so wonderful to see the world expressed through the Art of the younger generation," she said. "They see things differently, if it be different colors or different presentations. It's always a reflection of what the next generation is thinking and experiencing."
Sara Johnston captured first place, a $1,000 scholarship and $175 in cash; Alyssa Holmes placed second and received a $900 scholarship and $125 in cash; and Brittany Sibert took third place, an $800 scholarship and $75 in cash.
Johnson, inspired by Cypress Lake Middle School teacher Caroline Gora, who has since retired, would like to go to the University of Florida to earn a degree in Art history. Her dream is to work in a museum in Toronto or in Washington, D.C.
"I thought she strongly exhibited style and form, all the things we were looking for," said Fair. "Her goals and artist statement were taken into consideration, whether she has a desire to be an Art historian or work in the field of Art therapy."
Beach resident Brian Thibault was among the 11 seniors to submit artwork. He began at Beach Elementary School after moving to the Beach at age 1. He plans on going to Lynn University in Boca Raton on a soccer scholarship, while majoring in graphic design.
The student show will remain on display during the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until tomorrow (April 18) when students will remove their artwork.