After presenting in front of a panel of judges, Minarets High School seniors Daisy Allison, 18, and Jarred Crossley, 18, each took home a $10,000 Evelyn Ducoff Arts Scholarship to follow their dreams and pursue a career in art. Both students were formally recognized at the Minarets Scholarship Awards Night Tuesday at the school.
"Minarets is proud of both Daisy and Jarred," said Michael Niehoff, Minarets principal. "They have been dedicated to their creative pursuits all four years and have always been focused on their professional goals."
This is the first year the scholarships have been available. Evelyn Ducoff was a longtime local artist who donated money through the Fresno Regional Foundation to support many things, including scholarships at Minarets. Representing Voyles and the foundation at the competition was Celeste Voyles.
"The two students who received the scholarship were not only very articulate, but told their story and their love of the arts through their medium," Voyles said. "It was refreshing to watch students who not only loved what they were doing, but were able to express their love through their respective artwork."Students interested in competing for the scholarships had to meet a number of qualifications and give presentations. Criteria included: being a visual arts, media arts or performing arts -- or combination of any of the three -- for at least three of their four years in high school; involvement in the arts on and off campus during high school; and acceptance to a post-secondary institution to study an art-related field.
Both Allison and Crossley met all criteria. Allison has been heavily involved in visual arts at Minarets and plans to attend community college in San Francisco before going to art school there. She plans to study art history and graphic design and hopes to be an art director some day. Crossley has been heavily involved in media productions and plans to attend Columbia College in Hollywood and pursue a degree in cinematography.
Crossley gave a presentation that focused on his passion for media and film. In it, he showed clips of work he has done as a cinematographer, editor, and screen writer. His high school résumé includes helping run the Get Reel Film Festival for the Fresno County Library and running the video board for live events at school, such as last year's graduation.
Minarets media instructor Jon Corippo says Crossley is an amazing artist, collaborator and technician.
"Jarred is a great cameraman, writer, director and is well known for his live production skills," Corippo said.He's going to be a prolific professional in some aspect of the media industry."Crossley has won a number of awards for films he's made including the Minarets Media Documentary, Cardboard Man, Not Another Zombie Video Fame, and The Package.
Crossley said winning the scholarship was a huge financial relief.
"I have been trying to figure out how I was going to cover tuition and housing for film school in L.A.," he said. "This scholarship took a big chunk of that financial need off my shoulders."
Allison's presentation was visual and full of pictures illustrating some of the work she's done. According to Allison, she has done everything possible involving art over the last four years of high school. Over the past three years, Allison has competed in the National Vans Custom Culture Contest and this year she was a finalist in the Congressional Art Competition for the district and ranked fifth place.
Allison's art teacher, Carol Gordon, said Daisy has been "the most natural artist from the beginning."
"Daisy is always working in her sketch books, even when it is not assigned," said art teacher Carol Gordon said. "She always amazes me with her art and she is always challenging herself. I am so excited to watch and see what artistic career she chooses."
Allison said winning the scholarship felt surreal.
"I got the news in a letter, and I think I was actually holding my breath while I opened it," she said. "I just read the first word and started jumping around the living room in my pajamas with my family. It just felt so good to win. This scholarship is going to be such a huge help for me. As most people know, going to art school is not cheep. This is going to make achieving my future plans of going to an art school much easier."